Startupbootcamp hits records with Cape Town Demo Day

Published: Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Education Business

On 30 November 2017 the Startupbootcamp cohort hosted their first-ever Africa-based Demo Day in Cape Town to showcase the Top 10 startups, selected from a pool of 514 applicants, to global investors, sponsors and partners.

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“Demo Day represents the culmination of more than two years of collaboration with leading global stakeholders focused on innovative technology-driven solutions to challenges faced on the African continent. Startupbootcamp Cape Town is the first mentor-driven, multi-corporate backed accelerator programme for top-tier tech ventures in Africa,” says Philip Kiracofe, co-MD of Startupbootcamp Cape Town.

This inaugural African Startupbootcamp programme helped bridge the gap between corporates and startups with the Top 10 startups securing a record number of 32 signed agreements with large companies. Never before has a tech accelerator seen so many agreements finalized and it was a definite first for Africa. These 32 agreements that were facilitated by the Startupbootcamp Cape Town team included pilots, proof of concepts, experiments and contracts with the sponsors, partners, investors and other corporates.


A first for Accelerators globally, the Startupbootcamp Cape Town programme incorporated a fractional investment platform, EasyEquities, which allows anyone to invest in these startups. Now anyone can boost these 10 African startups and their own investment portfolio by joining the crowdfunded SA Startup Basket through EasyEquities, available from 15 December.


Demo Day was held at Ratanga Junction in Cape Town and was the culmination of the three-month Accelerator that the Top 10 startups have attended. Over the course of the programme, the Top 10 interacted with more than 150 mentors worldwide, spent hundreds of hours with senior executives and management teams and learned valuable lessons through workshops and presentations on all the elements needed to successfully build and scale an African tech company globally. They received mentorship and guidance and ran effective pilots and POCs with various of the heavyweight sponsors.


The success of the Startupbootcamp programme is evident in the growth of the startups. When the programme started earlier this year, six of the ten companies had no revenue and two didn’t even have concrete products. Now, every single one of the Top 10 are generating revenue and have commercial contracts. Two of the startups have also broken even in less than 3 months – a notable achievement. All these budding businesses have either received or actively engaged in discussions to raise funding from angel investors and venture capitalists. Two of the startups, Fo-Sho and Brownie Points, secured investment well ahead of Demo Day. The main success of the cohort can be attributed to the phenomenal support from the multiple sponsors backing the programme.


“We are already seeing value being created within our business units as a result of the mentorships and proof-of-concepts,” states sponsor Old Mutual.


“The collaboration with Startupbootcamp has allowed us to engage with startup talent from various industries, co-creating innovative ways of building sustainable businesses whilst offering customers the value they deserve. We are proud to be a part of the acceleration of African entrepreneurship and developing solutions for the future, today,” was the statement from Woolworths Financial Services.


The sponsors anchoring and endorsing the Startupbootcamp Cape Town programme includes: Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Woolworths Financial Services, Nedbank and PwC.


“Our partnership with Startupbootcamp meets several key objectives for our organization,” states RCS, “enabling RCS’s vision to be a market leader through cutting-edge innovation in an ever-changing market, whilst supporting talented and innovative new African startups of the future.”


All of the corporate sponsors and partners attended Demo Day to see how the startups have flourished under their guidance and with their advice. It also provided them the opportunity to further engage with the startups for larger projects beyond the programme.


“The way that these businesses innovate today is the way that our corporate clients need to be innovating tomorrow, and we all face a challenge to take these lessons and apply them to all contexts. It’s going to be fascinating to watch these startups grow over the months and years to come,” states PwC.


The Startupbootcamp Cape Town Accelerator was a roaring success with a record number of signed agreements and rising talent evident in the Top 10 – this was made clear by the incredibly productive and well-received Demo Day.


“This was the first multi-corporate backed, multi-sponsor backed Accelerator on the continent and it proved in demonstration that startups and corporates can collaborate successfully in the innovation space,” states Zachariah George, co-MD of Startupbootcamp Cape Town.

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