The World Bank today launched an accelerator programme aimed at supporting of Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs.
Funded by the governments of Finland, Norway, and Sweden, XL Africa will provide entrepreneurs with five months of support, the chance to receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors.
“XL Africa aims to put a spotlight on the continent’s growing digital economy by scouting for and supporting the most innovative tech start-ups. The success of these ventures will create a demonstration effect that can attract much-needed growth investment in the sector and catalyze scaling of transnational businesses in the region,” said Klaus Tilmes, Director of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group. “
They’ll also get help with attracting early stage capital between $250,000 and $1.5 million.
“Digital start-ups are important drivers of innovation in Africa. To scale and spread new technologies and services beyond borders, they need an integrated ecosystem that provides access to regional markets and global finance; pan-African initiatives like XL Africa play a critical role by linking local start-ups with corporations and investors across the continent,” said Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank.
The programme’s flagship activity includes a two-week residency in Cape Town, which will conclude with the Venture Showcase, a regional event in which the entrepreneurs will present their business models to a select audience of corporations and investors.
The programme will collaborate with prominent African investment groups, including the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), AngelHub Ventures, Goodwell Investments, Knife Capital, Nest Africa, Silvertree Capital, Singularity Investments, South African Business Angel Network (SABAN), TLcom Capital, Zephyr Acorn and 4Di Capital, and corporate partners, such as Orange, .Eco, Ringier, and Thomson Reuters.
Interested companies can apply online on the XL Africa website by Monday 12th June 12, 2017.