Africa Tech Entrepreneurs: GIZ and 500 Global Empower Accelerator Managers
“500 Global and GIZ’s Make-IT in Africa launched inaugural Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers Program in Nairobi, Kenya.”
For most African entrepreneurs starting a new business can be incredibly difficult. African entrepreneurs lack access to capital, structural resources, and mentoring more than their counterparts in other parts of the world.
Experienced mentors could be the missing key to success. Seasoned experts help bypass roadblocks that the most brilliant starter entrepreneurs may not see. Such roadblocks could impede growth or spell doom for a business. Mentors often lessen the time needed to market products and services to scale. These mentors come as part of the architecture of matured capital markets and tech communities.
500 Global, a leading venture capital firm, has launched an inaugural Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers (BAM) programme to empower African accelerators. The bootcamp is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German economic development agency and its Make-IT in Africa initiative. It is designed to foster the growth of Africa’s innovation ecosystems and thus help the continent’s talented entrepreneurs to launch and scale innovative products.
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BAM kicked off in Nairobi on November 14 with a five-day in-person bootcamp for selected accelerator managers from across Africa. A 12-month virtual programme will follow that will delve deeper into best practices in running a world-class accelerator programme.
The programme feature instructors from 500 Global, including Venture Partner Rob Neivert, Global Head of Education Programs Paulina Szyrmer, Global Investment Team Member Jordan Sawadogo. The Africa lead, Mareme Dieng, will bring a unique perspective on Africa’s ecosystem, informed by 500 Global’s 10 years of investing in startups across the continent.
The programme is designed to increase the impact of high-potential accelerators in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya.
A project-based methodology
Accelerators play a crucial role in emerging ecosystems but need sustainable business models. BAM will use a project-based teaching methodology with real-world scenarios drawn from 500 Global’s experience running more than 80 accelerator programs worldwide, as well as Make-IT in Africa’s experience supporting national and pan-African entrepreneurial ecosystems to become resilient.
“500 Global is thrilled to be working alongside GIZ to ensure that African accelerators have the tools they need to support startups. 500 has been investing in companies in Africa for a decade and continues to be excited about the growth of the African tech ecosystem. We believe that the next phase of this evolution will be led by home-grown accelerators, like the ones joining BAM,” said Mareme Dieng, 500 Global’s Africa Lead.
Also Read: Why Lagos Has Become Africa’s Most Attractive Tech Hub for Investors
“This program represents another cornerstone in Make-IT in Africa´s efforts to support African innovation on a local, pan-African and global scale. Together with our partner 500 Global, we use a hands-on approach to bring together African accelerators with seasoned coaches, while simultaneously building bridges between African and international networks. Beyond the scope of the program, African entrepreneurs and startups can benefit from the best practices applied by accelerators across the continent,” said Matthias Rehfeld, Head of Make-IT in Africa.
Nigeria’s leading accelerator progammes include Co-Creation Hub, ARM Labs and Faster Capital.
About 500 Global
500 Global is a venture capital firm with $2.7B in assets under management that invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies. We focus on markets where technology, innovation, and capital can unlock long-term value and drive economic growth.
We work closely with key stakeholders and advise governments and corporations on how best to support entrepreneurial ecosystems so startups can thrive. Over the years, 500 Global has backed over 5,000 founders representing more than 2,700 companies operating in 81 countries.
We have invested in 49 companies valued at over $1 billion and 150+ companies valued at over $100 million (including private, public, and exited companies). Our 180+ plus team members are located in 27 countries and bring experience as entrepreneurs, investors, and operators from some of the world’s leading technology companies.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ also engages in international education activities around the globe. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.
About Make-IT in Africa
Make-IT in Africa believes in the catalytic power of African innovation and digital technologies for green and sustainable development. In close collaboration with digital visionaries like start-ups, innovation enablers and political partners, we empower African innovation ecosystems. Together, we aim to strengthen an environment in which the full potential of African digital innovation can unfold. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).