All’s well that ends well — the Africa Virtual Accelerator 2021 (Powered by Adei Institute).
As we approach the end of another year (and a post-2020 year at that!), it feels great to also celebrate the end of another year @ the Africa Virtual Accelerator.
If you have been following our posts on the accelerator (see Week 0, Week 1, Week 2 posts) you’ll know this has been a labour of love for Adei Institute, Chanzo Capital, the 12 startups from 7 African countries that make up this year’s cohort and, of course, the dedicated mentors who form the backbone of our curriculum delivery model.
Our last week of the program made it clear just how important access to experienced knowledge and both local & international mentorship networks are for growing African startups. Panels on various topics from valuation methods to access to seed capital for African startups put the spotlight on asking mentors questions and gaining priceless insights from the thousands of startup funding rounds, valuations and exits in their collective portfolios.
Week 3’s panels gave us the opportunity to also welcome 2 more mentors to the program including Charles Darling representing Afrika Startup Lab (an Africa focused non-profit that empowers entrepreneurs with mentor led programming), bringing the total number of mentors for AVA 2021 to 18 professionals. These mentors contributed about 3 hours of valuable time each and provided guidance to startups in an average of 1.8 sessions.
But the best way to pass the message across is from the participants themselves. Here are just a few comments on this year’s mentors and the accelerator in general from 2021’s cohort.
Excellent Mentors. Very knowledgeable.
Experts’ level of experience was amazing.
Mentors were excellent and very insightful in their feedback. It was also helpful to have peer feedback from the Cohort.
I always find the mentors chosen very insightful and helpful. It’s always a wealth of information placed into our grasp.
Very rich and in depth sessions, that helped us gain better insight of what metrics matter.
A lot of excellent guidance and suggestions on how to polish up my story and present my business to potential investors.
The hands-on labs are always the icing on the cake that pushes me to refine what needs to be told and broken down more precisely.
Yes (it was helpful & impactful) very hardcore as well!
We are also particularly proud of this particular cohort of startups as our evaluations over the course of the program tell a story of success and growth. These 3 weeks have led to a great deal of change across multiple investment readiness activities with the biggest change in Growth & Exit with 80% of startups stating they have either fully implemented or are currently working on positioning their startups for growth & exit compared to 20% at the start of the program.
The investment readiness activities with the greatest changes from the beginning to the end of the program are highlighted below;
We have no doubt that this cohort will continue to grow & expand within the continent & beyond and will change the landscape for investment, valuations and impact for the African tech ecosystem. We look forward to the many news stories on their future high profile partnerships, creating real change in their communities, record-breaking investment rounds, achieving unicorn status, becoming the best workplaces in the world, successful exits and much more.
In closing, this has been a great year and if the 9/10 average rating from this year’s startups on recommending the accelerator to others is anything to go by then we look forward to a bigger, better and more business transforming version of the accelerator in 2022.