Applications open for 3rd edition of Grindstone accelerator


Applications are open for the third edition of the Grindstone accelerator, with 10 startups to be selected for the entrepreneurship development programme hosted by South African growth equity fund manager and advisory firm Knife Capital.

The Grindstone accelerator is a year-long programme aimed at assisting post-revenue innovation-driven businesses in accelerating strategy execution. The programme does not charge a fee or take equity stakes in any participating company, but rather focuses on a long-term upside incentive of investing in participating companies via Knife Capital.

Launched in 2014, Grindstone is currently looking for the third cohort of its programme, with 10 startups accepted onto the accelerator for each round.

During the programme, Grindstone aims to grow participants’ knowledge, networks and funding readiness, through growth measurement, gap analysis and interventions designed to promote growth, transfer skills, and create business networks and market access opportunities.

Participants will receive training, corporate advisory, coaching, mentorship and funding.

Specific interventions for each company include doing a YueDiligence assessment, building a partner universe, developing pitch decks and teaser documents, financial modelling, intellectual property assessment, strategic and financial valuation as well as populating a data room.

Data released on the second edition of the Grindstone accelerator showed startups experienced measurable results from the programme.

Participants saw an average of 64 per cent growth in year-on-year revenues; and the companies expected to see a 72 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the following three years after completing the programme, as compared to 49 per cent at the start of the programme.

Across the participating companies, there was an addition of ZAR65 million (US$4.6 million) in revenue.

Similar results were documented from the first cohort of the accelerator.

Applications are open here, until August 31.



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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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