The World Bank backed XL Africa Accelerator program kicks off today in South Africa with 20 startups Kenyan entrepreneurs among them with eyes on Sh150m prize.
In a press release today the World Bank said the residency will conclude with the XL Africa Venture Showcase, an event organised in association with the African Angel Investor Summit, in which the entrepreneurs will present their business models to a select audience of corporations and investors.
The entrepreneurs will — under the XL Africa residency — be mentored in the flagship initiative of the business accelerator launched last April by the World Bank.
It will run from November 6 to 17 in Cape Town, giving them access to potential corporate partners and investors.
The start-ups offer digital solutions for the African market, including fin-tech, transportation, health care, education, human resources, and business to business.
The Kenyan start-ups include delivery apps Sendy Ltd and Soko Watch, HR platform Lynk Jobs Limited, SME services platform Ongair and Pesabazaar.com, a fintech company.
Others are Snapplify, a publishing app with presence in Kenya and South Africa, and Asoko Insight, a data firm operating in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, United Kingdom, and Nigeria.
“We encountered strong companies, particularly in the transportation, HR, and data analytics sectors,” said Danai Musandu, investment associate at Goodwell Investments.
“We also observed signals of a nascent pipeline of digital companies beyond the traditional hot spots of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.”
Klaus Tilmes, the director of trade and competitiveness global practice at the World Bank said XL Africa will help the start-ups attract early stage capital of between Sh25.8 million and Sh154.5 million.
XL Africa is funded by the governments of Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and administered by the World Bank with implementation support from IMC Worldwide, VC4A, and Koltai & Co.
Other startups were picked from Senegal, Benin, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa