The nine startups taking part in the 440.ng accelerator in Lagos have less than three weeks to prepare for the programme’s first Demo Day, which will take place on December 10.
440.ng was founded in February as a joint venture between 88mph – which has already run accelerator programmes in Kenya and South Africa – and L5Lab, in order to invest in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria.
The programme began on September 22, with nine startups receiving between US$20,000 and US$110,000 in investment, followed by a 12-week accelerator to assist with product development, revenue generation and customer acquisition.
The nine startups chosen were online fashion retailer Jay Osbie, gadget marketplace Obiwezy, student app developers Click Right, digital fuel payments system Fuelvoucher, digital learning startup Youngsoul, online fashion label Ella, online fruit and vegetables platform Gingerbox, cloud-based retail platform Taja, and religious platform Ourprayerbox.
“Over the first 6 weeks, the 440.ng team and selected mentors have assisted the startups to build, test, and find channels for their products,” 440.ng said. “The methodology used is inspired by the Lean Canvas model where startups “get out of the building” to find customers, and test assumptions about their business. We use this model because its a faster and more effective way for the startups to communicate their business model and focus their development in the short time they participate in the accelerator.”
The programme has also seen a number of entrepreneurs speaking at weekly Wednesday Dinners hosted by the programme, including Mitchell Elegbe, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Interswitch, Denis O’Brien, founder and CEO of Vanso, Ayo Olashoju, founder and managing director (MD) of Tavia Technologies, and Gavin Marshall, vice president for product development at Konga.
440.ng partner Diamond Bank, also brought a team of staff to meet the startups and give feedback ahead of the approaching Demo Day.
“Their key focus is now on launching their products, sales, and revenue generating activities,” 440.ng said.