How Do I Apply?
We support companies over the life of their journey! That's right, as long our teams continue pursuing their ventures we'll continue to support by offering business development, introductions to other investors in our network, advice, press opportunities and more. Their relationship with us is for life.
What happens to the companies that don't succeed?
When we accept companies into our accelerator, we're accepting the founders as much as we're accepting their ideas. Thus, our program is always there for those who can pick themselves up and try again. Some have tried things, failed and started new ventures. We don't mind failure, our program is designed to encourage people to keep trying to start companies, develop solutions, create jobs and build prosperity for Africa. Our doors are always open to our entrepreneurs as long as they have a hunger for starting-up.
Who cares about Apps? What about other types of businesses?
Some people take the phrase 'app' too literally. As we use it, we're not just referring to applications for smart or mobiles. App is short for 'application' which can describe a business process or any use of technology to solve a problem. However, for our companies, technology must always play some role.
What is your investment philosophy?
Our vision of change for Africa is the invest in human capital, youth, and future industries. We're not interested in what makes money immediately, we're interested in pushing things forward and the impact on society when someone develops something that changes people's behavior. Additionally, it's our philosophy that the future of growth globally rests in knowledge-based, post-industrial jobs. Therefore, we don't invest in business models that resemble pre-industrial or industrial era models. We're betting on a bright future.
Who Can Apply?
Our acceleration programs are designed to work with startups to help them ramp up quickly so that they find the most sustainable ways of achieving their goals. We work with for-profit technology ventures as well as non-profit social ventures. Participants are selected from within our portfolio and occasionally we accept firms that we haven't invested in to participate.
What happened to Apps4Africa and the Challenges?
Apps4Africa was a program we ran from 2009 to 2012. It is no longer active. A4A had a number of great supporters since its inception including the U.S. Department of State's Africa Bureau which provided over $500,000 in fiscal support over four years.
How much funding do you offer participants?
Our companies receive $10,000 (U.S. Dollars) as a convertible note. For registered non-profits, we offer the same $10,000 as a grant. We consider follow-on investments up to $50,000.
What is the selection process?
The Appfrica staff work with some of the world's finest corporate executives, investors, non-profit leaders and experienced entrepreneurs to make up an annual board of advisors. This board reviews the applicants and chooses the participants based on their experience and the opportunities they see in the market. The board also broadly works to help shape the program's goals for the upcoming year.
Who sits on this board?
Board members are selected once a year and are usually announced when the new participants are announced. In addition to our staff (Jon Gosier and Bahiyah Robinson) past board members have included:
2010 Board Members - Ory Okolloh, Emeka Okafor, Joseph Mucheru, Nathan Eagle, Tom Gibian, Anil Dash, Tim O'Reilly, Lynn Roche, Josh Goldstein, Elana Berkowitz
2011 Board Members - Danielle Lanyard, Salvador Zepeda, Robin Bigio, Teddy Ruge, Soud Hyder, Ousmane Ndiaye, Jeff Fox, Lynn Roche, Marieme Jamme
2012 Board Members - Liz Ngozi, Teddy Ruge, Nic Haralambous, Tom Genton, Loren Treisman, Marieme Jamme, Brian Laung Aoaeh, Makhatar Diop
2013 Board Members - To Be Announced