Seed fund and accelerator 88mph received 92 applications to its new-model programme, DealWeek, with the fund saying the response to the new concept has been “great”.
Disrupt Africa reported in January 88mph announced it would depart from its usual three-month accelerator programme for the first time, launching the new concept DealWeek in South Africa.
DealWeek sees 88mph partner with seven entrepreneur-investors, who will advise and work with startups for the week prior to making any investment offers.
Speaking to Disrupt Africa, Sylvia Brune of 88mph said the team is happy with the 92 applications it received in the one-month period while applications were open; particularly given the entirely unfamiliar model being introduced.
“I think the overall response has been great, especially given the short time applications were open, and that DealWeek is a completely new concept,” Brune said.
“Of course, the number of startups applying isn’t an interesting metric for us in itself, its whether we managed to attract the best startups, and whether we, and the founder-investors, can manage to close some interesting funding deals with them during DealWeek,” she said.
Launching DealWeek in January, 88mph said the new model programme was intended to attract more startups in later stages of development – something the traditional three-month incubator model had not achieved.
Brune says the applications seem to reflect this intention, with a number of later-stage startups having applied.
“We did manage to attract some more later stage startups than we did for the accelerator programs, which is one of the reasons we decided to do this. But whether that results in a successful DealWeek still remains to be seen,” she said.