With a focus on pitching & storytelling, the Africa Virtual Accelerator kicked off with a bang!

Adei Institute of Technology
3 min readNov 22, 2021

‘Your Why is what differentiates you from the competition and makes the difference.’

This was just one of many insights shared by Christos Kritikos — CEO of Emerging Humanity and accomplished startup coach with years of experience nurturing growing startups across the U.S. & Africa — as he delivered the first seminar of the Africa Virtual Accelerator 2021.

Day 1 activities included an opportunity for the startups to introduce themselves to mentors & each other with their initial pitches. As the 12 startups shared their pitches over the course of the day and received feedback from the day’s mentors — Christos Kritikos, Geraldine Mupandanyama, Melei Anikpo, Antonello Di Giulio & Paul Kallmes — it became quite clear that the 3 weeks ahead would be filled with the exploration of exciting new business ideas ranging from fintech to edutainment apps.

Many thanks to all Week 1 mentors! Left to right from top — Christos Kritikos, Mark Karam, Paul Kallmes, Jimmy Ku, Geraldine Mupandanyama, Melei Anikpo, Gaetan Philippart & Antonello Di Giulio.

This week’s seminars were full of the nuances of storytelling and tips for keeping audiences engaged and who doesn’t love a good story? Our mentor on the art of storytelling — Jimmy Ku — shared an excellent presentation on Day 3 that took the audience on a fundraising journey from making first contact with potential investors to closing out successful rounds. With over 17 years of experience raising venture capital for various startups and as Flutterwave’s current Head of US Growth, these were priceless insights straight from the heart of Silicon Valley.

Jimmy Ku shares insights on fundraising with AVA startups.

The lab sessions also gave the startups the opportunity to actually practice their new storytelling skills with guidance from Paul Kallmes, Mark Karam & Gaetan Philippart. Paul Kallmes drew on his years of experience as a Silicon Valley startup program developer, intellectual property expert & serial investor to review the startups’ presentation of the Why, What & How of their businesses. Mark Karam’s experience in business development specifically focused on digital media on a global scale was particularly relevant to this year’s cohort of digital first startups. And Gaetan Philippart’s knowledge of various sectors & markets in sub-saharan Africa added local strategy insights to the sessions.

To explore the ideas presented by the 12 startups in this year’s AVA powered by Adei Institute, please check out their websites below.

Akoobooks — https://app.akoobooks.net/

Cashback — https://www.cashbackconsulting.com/

Casting Africa — https://casting.africa/

CNG Transfer — https://transfy.io/

DeliverASAP — https://www.deliverasap.ng/

Kipepeo — https://kipepeo.co/

Motorparts Nation — https://motorpartsnation.com/

MyWagePay — https://mywagepay.com/

Saveapp — https://saveapp.co.ke/

Team Assistance Pro — https://team-assistance.ci/

Tootree — https://tootreecorp.com/en/home/

Tubayo — https://tubayo.com/