500 Startups to tour African cities next year

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US-based accelerator 500 Startups is organising a Geek on a Plane tour to four African cities next year as it looks to connect investors with innovative African startups.

A global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator founded by Dave McClure and based in Silicon Valley, 500 Startups has around US$200 million in assets under management.

The Geeks on a Plane tour is for startups, investors and executives to learn about high-growth technology markets worldwide. It has already run a number of trips elsewhere in the world, but next year’s Africa visit will be the first to the continent.

The trip, between March 20 and April 1, 2017, will take in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg and Cape Town, with those interested in participating able to apply here.

500 Startups, like a number of other global accelerators, has become increasingly active when it comes to African startups. South Africa’s SweepSouth and Ghana’s Kudobuzz took part in its programme last year, and startups from Kenya and Egypt the year before.

Nigerian startups Podozi, Aella Credit and Talentbase have all been selected for programmes this year, while 500 Startups has also launched 500 Falcons, a US$30 million fund for investing in startups from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and partnered DraperDarkFlow to host the US$1 million SpeedUPAfrica bootcamp in Ghana.

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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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