Before the majority of South African startups can even make it out the gate, they are more often than not stopped in their tracks by major stumbling blocks. Aside from bringing their actual startup to life, most of them have the inability to harness fundamental startup needs, the most important of which is access to funding.
Kingson Capital, a South African Venture Capital Company committed to providing venture capital for High-Growth Tech and Black-Owned SME’s, is passionate about clearing the financial hurdles for SME’s in order to sustain their startup momentum. Backed by corporates and international investors, who have shown particular interest in investing in the South African tech and SME space, the organisation pairs investment with business support through its investment structure.
Now Kingson Capital, along with AKRO Accelerate, are offering the opportunity of a lifetime to South African startups. On 28 and 29 August 2019, the partners will be hosting an unprecedented event where 20 pre-selected Proudly South African startups can pitch their unique business ideas in the hopes of being selected for an intense, two-week boot camp in the United States where they will learn not only how to refine and grow their businesses, but also how to sustain their venture effectively.
“Although we see a substantial rise in South African startups,” says Gavin Reardon, founder of Kingson, “it is unfortunate that when it comes to them sustaining that startup momentum, many fall by the wayside due to lack of support. For us, it’s all about creating venture ecosystems across the venture investment landscape. In a South African context, we are looking to build on these ecosystems, and from that growth, all players will reap the long-term benefits.”
The ripple effects of being chosen to be a part of this initiative are staggering. Selected startups will spend two weeks at a boot camp in Silicon Valley in the USA being mentored by some of the most significant business minds. The learnings that they will take away from this boot camp will enable them to re-pitch their business idea upon their return, where the final innovative startups will be chosen and given an investment injection that will take their idea and cement it into a fully functioning business. Kingson will be providing all investment capital for the successful startups in their unwavering effort to support early-stage venture ecosystems.
Janine Basel from AKRO is extremely excited about the partnership and the event. “This event speaks to what is so desperately needed in South Africa: giving an outlet to startups to be heard and to be taken seriously in early-stage development, by investors. A lot of startups and founders who are the real innovators in our society, get lost between the cracks of life, as they have no idea how to get market access and investment to kickstart and sustain their growth.”
Both Reardon and Basel are hoping to see out of the box innovation from the selected startups. “We want to see startups that are innovative, backed by hard-working individuals that are committed to their startup. We want startups that are addressing our most pressing challenges, using technology to address this. We believe that the businesses that solve the biggest problems will have the biggest chances of scaling and being sustainable. For this reason, our focus is on tech or tech-enabled business,” says Basel.
Entrepreneurs who are interested in being a part of the initiative can still submit their entries. They will need to bring both their drive and their ability to be coachable and also be able to take critical feedback. On pitch day, they will be expected to submit a 3-minute pitch and a summary sheet of their concept. Interested startups can apply now at https://greenbeetle.wufoo.com/forms/p1lj47hm0o4mklh/