Major global investors to grace $1m SpeedUPAfrica


Major global investors Tim Draper and Mark Iwanowski are to be in attendance at the SpeedUPAfrica bootcamp, which takes place in Ghana in July and will see selected startups walk away with a share of US$1 million in funding.

Disrupt Africa reported last month Silicon Valley VC firm DraperDarkFlow had partnered accelerator 500 Startups to host SpeedUPAfrica, with the 100 participating startups to be announced on June 5.

The four-day bootcamp will be 100 per cent execution-driven, with hands-on workshops, live experiments, A/B testing, growth hacking, and one-on-one mentor sessions.

500 Startups will be running large parts of the process, while other partners include Singularity University, F6S and RanLabs. The bootcamp will take place at Ashesi University in Ghana.

In attendance at the event will be Tim Draper, who backs DraperDarkFlow and is also the founding partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ. His investment successes over the years include Skype, Overture, Baidu, Tesla, Theranos, Parametric Technology, Hotmail, Digidesign, and

“African startups can change the world and have a very unique and exciting opportunity to leapfrog existing norms, and great things will happen,” Draper told Disrupt Africa upon confirming his attendance at the event.

Also attending SpeedUpAfrica will be Mark Iwanowski, chief executive officer (CEO) of MDI & Associates, and formerly of Oracle, Raytheon and SAIC. Iwanowski has invested more than US$1 billion in tech startups, and seen returns of three times that amount.

Of the 100 startups that will be selected for the event, 80 per cent will be early-stage and 20 per cent later-stage. DraperDarkFlow has committed to invest US$1 million in the best startups at the bootcamp, while other high profile investors are also coming on board to make investments.


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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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