Applications open for SA’s first fully-digital township tech accelerator


The Cape Town-based Akro Accelerate has announced the opening call for the first fully-digital township tech accelerator, which will provide training, mentorship and the chance to access grant funding.

Akro Accelerate, which is backed by the SA SME Fund, ran two cohorts of startups in 2019, and approximately 70 per cent received funding after the accelerator.

It is now applying the same formula to South Africa’s townships, backed by Imvelo Ventures, with applications open until August 21 for its latest programme. Thirty startups will be selected, with Akro looking for black-owned South African companies with a touchpoint with townships and providing a unique offering to the market.

Selected companies will receive mentorship and hands-on assistance in building or growing their business, as well as access to services, legal documents and assistance, technical infrastructure, and more. They also stand the chance to win ZAR100,000 (US$4,400) in grant funding, at the discretion of Imvelo Ventures.

Of the 30 startups selected for the first week of the programme, starting September 7, the top 10 will be picked to continue into the remainder of the main programme. These final 10 startups will receive a broader range of services, including deeper assistance to build out their offerings and bring products and services to market, as well as support for the process of raising funding. The remaining 20 startups will continue with the Akro Accelerate coaches and mentors for the remainder of the eight-week programme.


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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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