Deadline: 14 January, 2019
Applications are open for the L’Afrique Excelle Accelerator Program for Start-ups in Francophone Countries 2019. They are looking for 20 startups in the digital or new technologies, in the launch phase or pre-A, well placed in terms of growth and expansion in the markets of Francophone Africa and looking for funds between $250K and $5M.
L’Afrique Excelle will provide all their support to help you raise money, develop professional connections, develop through mentorship and gain access to a community of entrepreneurs. They can also help you refine your business model, grow your sales and market share, and accelerate your expansion into other markets.
The 20 finalists will participate in a week of residential training in Mali (March 25-30, 2019) during which the 10 best will be selected. The 10 selected startups will continue the program and will:
- Exchange regularly with their mentors (4 to 6 hours per month) for 6 months. Remember that it works both ways: mentors and mentees learn and invest in this relationship. In many cases, these relationships last a long time after the end of the program.
- During the 6 months, participate in 5 webinars designed and facilitated by experts, including African and American investors and entrepreneurs.
- Participate in the week of residential training in France (May 13 to 18, 2019) and Pitch Final at the VivaTech in Paris.
- Collaborate with your peers from selected African companies, as well as mentors, investors and strategic partners.
- Come with an open mind and be ready to learn from others and work with them.
- Networking with investors in French-speaking Africa throughout the duration of the program and during the final presentation at the VivaTech in Paris
- Mentoring by two entrepreneurs or investors (international or local) who have themselves been successful in their field and who will accompany you in the evaluation of your business, financial forecasts, risk management, customer acquisition strategies. Access to other more specific expertise will be made according to your needs
- The opportunity to meet and build relationships with investors, experts in their field, business partners as well as other entrepreneurs in two residential formations, in Mali and France
- Support the preparation of your investment deck so that you are ready for any fundraising or investment as a result of the program
- Increased knowledge through content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and expanding your business
- Your start-up is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people
- You have a digital or tech product/service currently available in one of the following Francophone Africa markets: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, DRC, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo
- You have a very strong management team
- You can demonstrate tangible traction, evidence of revenue and potential to scale
- You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $5M
- While there will be exceptions, most likely your start-up has already received investment capital, as debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations or prize money from competitions.
To select the top 20 startups, they will consider:
- Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%): The company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital or tech solution is different from others in the industry. The product or service is catalyzing social change.
- Strategy for Growth (25%): There is potential to expand locally and into new markets. We can see demonstrable progress and your startup is scalable.
- Management (25%): The team has the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
- Market Traction & Financials (25%): They will evaluate the market traction and potential market size. They will also look at the business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.
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