A lot has happened in the past weeks at Growth Academy with Intel Africa, a 3-month accelerator for tech startups have the opportunity to grow their businesses into profitable and sustainable enterprises. Briefly, let us run you through our past activities since when it kicked off on the 14th of March 2016
After a 3-week call for applications, we had a total of 102 startups that applied, from which the 10 participating startups were selected. Our criteria for selection was based on: Does their solution address a clear need in the society, is their team knowledgeable and skillful enough to implement the solution, how many customers and how much revenue has been generated so far etc. The 10 startups are EdvesSuite, VergeNG, Mamalette, Tuteria, GoMyWay, DropBuddies, Eazyhire, VacantBoards, GeniiGames and Wesabi. Read more about them at growthacademy.ng
Growth Academy 2016 Begins!
Kick off Session
The Accelerator commenced with a kick off session on the 14th of March 2016, participants were introduced to the program and curriculum. Each startup was given the opportunity to introduce themselves, their product and motivation to take part in Growth Academy. This enabled participants to have a grasp of other startups partaking in the program and also get to know each other better.
The session was facilitated by CcHub’s Director for Open Living Labs, Femi Longe & the Program manager. A welcome speech was given by CcHub’s CEO, Bosun Tijani and Growth Capital’s Managing Partner, Tunji Eleso. The kick off session rounded up with a goal setting activity where startups set smart goals they want to achieve by the end of the accelerator program.
A series of sessions commenced in the following days for startups to prepare their pitches for demo day. Mock pitch sessions were conducted alongside a general overview of each startup’s pitch deck.
Demo day, a platform for startups to showcase their products to prospective investors, partners and the media. This year, different from the typical accelerator format, Growth Academy flipped the accelerator/demo model by introducing demo day just one week into the 3 months program. This enabled startups with the opportunity to meet potential partners that can work with them to achieve their set goals for the program.
This pace setting event held on the 22nd of March, 2016 with over 15 organizations present, this included Intel, Oracle, MainOne, Jumia, Rack centre, The Nation, TechCabal, Biola Alabi Media, Accion Microfinance Bank, Insight Communications, Google, Enplug Africa, Emval, Interswitch, Etisalat Nigeria, Alpine amongst others. Each startup had the opportunity to pitch their business and receive feedback from the audience on areas to tweak in order to rapidly scale their user base and also possible areas of collaboration with the organizations present.
Working & Check -In sessions
The accelerator program commenced fully with working and check in sessions which are scheduled to hold weekly till the end of the program in June. Working sessions are an avenue for startups to get insights on growth hacks, route to market strategies, customer insights etc from industry professionals, top company execs and seasoned experts
In the past weeks, working sessions have been facilitated by top industry executives; at the first session, Mr Isaac Okanlawon, Marketing Manager at Heinz shared useful insights on customer understanding, market segmentation techniques and how to effectively use the Source of Growth Analysis (SOGA) tool. At the second session, Mr Tomi Davies, President of African Business Angel Network & CEO -TechnoVision and Tunji Eleso, Managing Partner – Growth Capital – gave each startup customized growth hacking tips to rapidly scale their user base and shared how important it is for the startups to define their businesses using the P.O.E.M framework. And recently,at the 3rd session – facilitated by Femi Longe & Olaide Ogungbesan; startups reviewed each other’s platforms and gave concrete feedback on how to optimise their platforms to better customers experiences.
Check-in sessions are an opportunity to assess the weekly progress of each startup, get feedback for the accelerator program and know specific areas to improve the experience of each startup.
You can follow the next working session on Twitter using the hashtag #GrowthAcademy