South African part-time accelerator programme Sw7 has opened applications for programmes in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Sw7 launched in July of last year and runs nine-week, mentor-led programmes costing ZAR12,000 (US$1,000), though if an entrepreneur is accepted onto the Microsoft BizSpark initiative ZAR7,200 (US$620) will be covered for them.
The programmes are set to commence in Johannesburg on March 3, Cape Town on May 13, and Durban on July 28, with interested parties able to register online.
“We have over 65 chief executive officers (CEOs) and founders that mentor for us,” said co-founder Odette Jones.
“The quality of the applicants has increased over the last two years and we are finding that competition for the places is increasing significantly, which is very exciting as it reflects not just the growing reputation of the programme, but reflects a significant upswing in the activity in the sector. We are looking for applicants that are founders that are post-ideation and want to take their businesses to the next level.”
Disrupt Africa reported late last year Sw7 was hoping to raise a fund in the second half of 2015 in order to invest in companies.
Co-founder Keith Jones said at the time Sw7 was a “work in progress” but improving all the time, and was also looking to add more key sponsors this year.
“There is amazing chemistry that happens in the group and with the mentors, where there is a strong focus on pragmatism and doing deals,” he said.
“Sw7 is all about building a community of people to help them make connections and figure out what they need to do to succeed, and give them the tools to focus on what they need to do to get the job done.”
Jones said Sw7 was South Africa’s only technology acceleration programme available nationally, with 40 companies having been put through the programme so far.