Entries are now open for the Seed Engine Business Accelerator, which offers early stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to convert their business ideas into commercial realities
“The search is now on to find the ten best distinctive and disruptive business concepts that deserve a chance at success,” says Marc Elias of Seed Engine. “We are looking for early stage entrepreneurs who have a big dream to fulfil.”
How it works
Once the final selection has been made, ten teams of entrepreneurs will begin a life-changing journey through a 13 week accelerator boot camp, where they will each be given R100 000 start-up capital to convert their ideas into practical business plans ready for launch.
Entrepreneurs will be offered coaching, mentorship, work space and support and an opportunity to grow their concept into a business. On completion of the programme they will be introduced to potential investors via a presentation day so that they can attract additional funding. Elias anticipates that the entrepreneurs will raise between R200 000 and R2 million of next round funding.
“Angel investors and venture capitalists take a keen interest in these accelerator programmes because they create a pipeline of investable companies, filter top talent and connect them to disruptive and innovative opportunities,” says Elias, adding that the concept has been highly successful overseas.
Increased chance of success
“The primary investment principle at any stage of investment is the assessment of risk. Typically, in the South African context, investors are known to have a low appetite for risk. Seed Engine has therefore developed its accelerator programme to significantly reduce the risk profile of the accelerator participants and improves their chances of success, as well as giving them the opportunity to raise additional capital for their ventures,” Elias continues.
“85% of entrepreneurs going through accelerator programmes in the US are still trading after four years. It’s also in the interest of Seed Engine to increase the likelihood that the underlying businesses are successful, as we will hold equity positions in all of the accelerator ventures.”
Entrepreneurs can enter by going to www.seedengine.co.za and completing the application process. Applications are open until mid January 2013. The application should clarify points of difference, scalability, disruptive strategies and team details. The first activation will begin in February 2013.