ALN Ventures, Microsoft 4Afrika in partnership to support startups

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African accelerator programme ALN Ventures has entered into a strategic alliance with Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative in order to support entrepreneurs and startups across the continent.

Disrupt Africa reported in January ALN Ventures had picked nine startups for its inaugural nine-month accelerator programme, which began in South Africa in February offering each startup US$20,000 funding as well as advice from sector-specific experts.

ALN Ventures said Microsoft under its 4Afrika initiative had shown a particular commitment to entrepreneurs through various programmes designed to help startups, such as its global BizSpark programme and the recent launch of Biz4Afrika.

The partnership will see ALN Ventures deliver all the value of the BizSpark, Microsoft Virtual Academy and Biz4Afrika initiatives to its eight portfolio companies.

“The Microsoft partnership ensures that our technology-based companies can draw on the deep technical expertise available within the company, globally,” James Loss-Wells of ALN Ventures told Disrupt Africa.

“Technology mentorship will be hugely valuable to these entrepreneurs.”

He said Microsoft was assisting the accelerator in driving its startups to become tech-enabled.

“We challenge these companies to think really critically about how to maximise the use of technology in their businesses – whether in production, marketing, distribution, administration or whatever function,” said Loss-Wells.

“Because of this, the Microsoft technical mentorship is also valuable to them. Microsoft is there to help us ensure that these more traditional companies are maximally tech-enabled, even if they’re not tech companies.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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