Chosen from a cohort of 20 South African start-ups who have been part of the programme since September 2021, the six startups progressing to the final stage of the MultiChoice Accelerator are: EM Guidance (an intelligent medicines search engine), Lightbulb (a learning management systems provider that enables virtual learning and training), Swypa (a township consumer delivery service), Whoosh (a fintech company providing end-to-end payment technologies), Wetility (a hybrid solar solutions provider) and IT Thynk (an ICT services and gaming technology provider).
The selected businesses are set to take part in an intensive virtual bootcamp programme, followed by a live pitch day to industry experts and investors. There will also be key addresses by Expo Live Senior Vice President, Yousuf Caires and South African Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
“As MultiChoice we are excited to be able to create such a platform for up and coming South African entrepreneurs to raise more funding for their businesses as a result creating more opportunities for others. With unemployment rates so high in our country this is important for MultiChoice as we understand that the SMME sector is critical to create opportunities in South Africa,” said Collen Dlamini, group cxecutive of Corporate Affairs at MultiChoice.
MultiChoice has invested R52 million made up of grants towards the shortlisted startups ahead of their final pitch to the global investor panel.
A panel of global investors participating is made up of representatives from some of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) leading investor and venture capital firms, including Middle East Venture Partners and WAMDA Capital among others.
About MultiChoice Accelerator programme
The programme – a collaboration with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Galelo Africa and Companies Creating Change (C3) – forms part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, of which aim is to support the growth and development of SMMEs in South Africa. It’s also aimed at connecting them with global investors to unlock business opportunities that will enrich their lives, the communities they function in and the South African economy at large.
As part of the programme, the initial 20 start-ups had to attend 26 hours of training, facilitated by C3, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based social enterprise with a footprint in 17 countries across the Middle East and Africa.
The participants not only received guidance on critical business fundamentals and exposure to expansion and fundraising opportunities, which will come in handy for each start-up as they continue their journeys. They were also given access a network of experts and trainers within the international start-up community, with each entrepreneurs having gone through a rigorous investor readiness programme. The aim was to ensure that they are prepared and fit for the final stretch.
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