(Photo Courtesy)
(Photo Courtesy

XL Africa Program which is scheduled to run from August 1st to December 31st, 2017 supported by the World Bank Group, with financial assistance from the Governments of Finland, Norway and Sweden – are looking for later stage digital solutions from any sector vertical, with services or products available on the market now.  This includes, but is not limited to FinTech, agriculture, transport, energy, health, education, smart cities, gaming, resource management, media and many more.

“We are not looking for single founders but quality teams that have the expertise and experience needed to implement successfully in these markets. Traction is key, and where the teams should be gearing up for expansion and Series A level funding (USD$250,000 and USD$1.5 million),” the company said.

The firm will help the 20 startups that would have qualified seek access to capital, expand market share, and also refine your business model through tailored mentorship, coaching, and networking opportunities.

Here’s what they’re offering:

  • Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
  • Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs.
  • The opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.

However, for any startup to be eligible for the program, it has to be profitable and registered with a team of at least three (3) people all based Sub-Saharan Africa. The digital product or service has to be available on the market right now, with demonstrated tangible traction and evidence of revenue. While there will be exceptions, startups have to have already received investment capital, structured as either debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations. And finally, have a very strong management team and a potential to achieve scale.

The 20 finalists out of the submission that will be received will have been based on commercial value of your product/service, meaning your company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital solution is different to others in the industry. Your product or service is catalyzing social change.

Secondly, startups strategy for growth; startup having the potential to expand into new markets or expand at home. Thirdly, if the team have the qualifications needed to make the business successful.

And finally the market traction & financials; judges will evaluate the startups market traction and look at the potential market size, and also look at the business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.

Teams or participants that will take part in the program will expected to:

  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over five months.
  • Participate in a four virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Participate in the residential program in South Africa for two weeks in November 2017.
  • Engage with 19 other African enterprises, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.

Editor’s Note: Digital startups that are willing to participant in the program are expected to send in their applications not later than Monday 12th, June 2017. Follow this link to apply NOW.