We’re pleased to announce a new opportunity for Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs to raise capital: applications are open for VC4Africa’s September 2013 Cohort! Building on the early success of VC4Africa’s previous cohort, selected entrepreneurs will again receive – among other things – targeted coaching and dedicated access with personal introductions to the VC4Africa investor network, Africa’s largest network of SME investors. The call for application closes on Sunday September 1st.
“Already a few days after being selected and presented in the June Cohort, the first investors approached us for meetings” says Kenneth Griffith of Chamapesa, one of the entrepreneurs from VC4Africa’s previous cohort (the June Cohort). “We have participated in other accelerator programs, but VC4Africa has provided by far the most in-depth consulting and coaching, which has really helped us to improve our venture.”
Several of the selected June Cohort entrepreneurs are now in conversations with investors. While we are still coaching them until the beginning of September, we are opening the call for applications for the new September Cohort to be presented next month.
What are the criteria for participation?
Ventures that apply to be a part of VC4Africa’s September 2013 Cohort must have a solid business plan, clear market strategy, a working pilot, and a skilled and experienced team. A chamber of commerce registration and complete documentation is a must. See the 5 steps to fundraising on VC4Africa and test in how far your venture meets VC4Africa’s key criteria with the VC4Africa Quick Scan.
The call for application closes on Sunday September 1st and the entrepreneurs selected will be announced two weeks later. Selected entrepreneurs will get three coaching and feedback sessions for their plans and financial projections within a 3 month period. VC4Africa will provide featured interviews and other promotion, shares best practices and increases key skills. In addition to that, VC4Africa actively connects with investors that match the entrepreneur’s profile, facilitates the introductions and answers initial questions from either party. The final output is a fact sheet the entrepreneur can use for closing a deal.
How to apply?
Step 1: Submit documents – To apply for VC4Africa’s September 2013 Cohort your venture has to be registered on the VC4Africa platform. After you’re signed up on VC4Africa and have created a venture profile, make sure to upload your business plan, chamber of commerce registration and other relevant documentation to your venture profile (see the 5 steps to fundraising on VC4Africaand the VC4Africa Quick Scan). Only investors registered as part of the VC4Africa Investor Network can access the documents you upload.
Step 2: Fundraising request – To complete your application, register an intention to raise a round of funding. You’ll find a “Fundraising” box on the right side in your venture profile. In this box, click “Get started” and indicate your financing stage and capital needs (between USD $10,000 and USD $1 million) to apply.
“Participating in the VC4Africa June cohort in 2013 resulted in several introductions being made while simultaneously expanding the visibility and investment potential of our company. The added critical insight provided by VC4Africa’s business evaluation team proved invaluable” says Kyai Mullei of M-Changa. Previous participants coached by VC4Africa have raised more than $2 million in funding. We recently profiled 40 investors from VC4Africa’s network. VC4Africa’s investor network is the largest network of Africa focused SME investors.
The cohorts allow VC4Africa to better structure its services, and VC4Africa investors members have seen the graduates are top quality and have expressed their appreciation for the output. For investors, VC4Africa essentially helps screen up front and cut down on due diligence cost. In the September cohort, an extra emphasis will be placed on tangible traction, in both documentation and level of the team’s understanding for the market.
Apply now for VC4Africa’s September 2013 Cohort by creating a venture profile, adding all relevant documents, and registering your fundraising request. The call for applications closes on Sunday September 1st. Good luck with your application!