World Bank launches XL Africa accelerator


The World Bank Group has launched a new five month accelerator programme for African digital startups, XL Africa, offering participants help in securing up to US$1.5 million in early stage capital.

Twenty startups will be selected to join the programme, where they will follow a tailor made curriculum, and receive mentoring from global and local experts.

Supported by a number of African investment groups, the World Bank Group will help the 20 startups to secure between US$250,000 and US$1.5 million each in early stage capital.

“XL Africa aims to put a spotlight on the continent’s growing digital economy by scouting for and supporting the most innovative tech startups,” said Klaus Tilmes, director of the trade and competitiveness global practice at the World Bank Group.

“The success of these ventures will create a demonstration effect that can attract much-needed growth investment in the sector and catalyze scaling of transnational businesses in the region.”

The programme is mostly delivered digitally, through a number of video modules available on demand, and also includes a two-week residency in Cape Town, South Africa, where the ventures will interact with and learn from mentors, peers, and local partners.

The Cape Town residency will conclude with a Venture Showcase in November, with entrepreneurs presenting their business models to an audience of corporates and investors.

A number of high-profile partners – investment groups and corporates – have also come onboard for the programme, including the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), AngelHub Ventures, Goodwell Investments, Knife Capital, Nest Africa, Silvertree Capital, Singularity Investments, South African Business Angel Network (SABAN), TLcom Capital, Zephyr Acorn, 4Di Capital, Orange, .Eco, Ringier, and Thomson Reuters.

Applications are open here, until June 12.


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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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