Connect with us

Snapshots

Seeding The Change

Disrupting markets, one business at a time.

Juliet Pitman

Published

on

Seed-Engine_Snapshots_Success-Stories

“It’s the most stimulating environment I can imagine. There’s no copy and paste formula for start-ups. You’re always creating, always learning. I live for this,” says Marc Elias, talking about what drives him in his role as ‘chief disrupter’ at start-up accelerator, Seed Engine.

Not an incubator, nor a venture capital firm, as a business accelerator Seed Engine sits somewhere inbetween.

It was while working in the venture capital environment that Elias realised the South African entrepreneurial landscape needed something to act as a bridge between start-ups in incubation and the venture capital they so desperately needed.

The accelerator model had been tried and tested elsewhere in the world — on notable businesses such as Dropbox — and offered an elegant solution.

“In my time in venture capital, I never saw a single meeting arise between a venture capitalist and an incubator SME. VCs are looking for high-growth businesses that offer high returns and there was a mismatch between the incubator businesses applying for VC funding, and what the VC investors were looking for,” he explains.

After consulting US and European accelerators, Elias adapted the model for the South African entrepreneurial market.

“One of the big things we identified was the need to develop leadership. Venture capitalists are not just looking for investable ideas — they’re looking for investable leaders, visionary entrepreneurs who are able to execute.”

Seed Engine works with ideas-stage start-ups, providing them with R100 000 seed capital and an intense 12-week programme to put the right business, leadership and go-to-market foundations in place. “Our entrepreneurs have access to mentorship, office space, capital and networking. At the end of the course, they pitch to a room of venture capitalists and angel investors,” Elias explains.

The first 2013 intake pitched to a room of 140 investors and every one is currently in advanced negotiations with investors. Unsurprisingly, word has got out and the demand to get into the programme has seen a dramatic increase.

“We launched in September 2012 and between September and December received 350 applications. We’ve now just received 1 500 for our next intake in February 2014,” says Elias.

But from those, only seven businesses have been selected. The programme is small, focused and highly effective. You’ll be hearing more about this one in the years ahead.

Success Lesson:

Seed Engine found a gap as SA’s first accelerator, putting high-growth potential businesses in touch with real investment opportunities.

 

Snapshots

Alan Knott-Craig On Learning To Overcome Your Fears And Building Successful Businesses

After Alan Knott-Craig ran some of South Africa’s well known companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit, he’s on a mission to broaden South Africa’s wireless internet network with HeroTel.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-design-alan-knott-craig

We interview entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig, who after running well known South African companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit founded HeroTel, which is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and his strategy is to buy up smaller WISP companies to create a broader network.

Continue Reading

Snapshots

Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success

Ian Fuhr, a serial entrepreneur is not scared of opening businesses in industries he knows nothing about.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-designs-ian-fuhr

We interview entrepreneur Ian Fuhr, who founded the Sorbet Group in 2005 which has now grown to over 200 stores in South Africa with stores in the UK. Ian is a serial entrepreneur who has launched many successful companies in industries he knew very little about.

Continue Reading

Snapshots

How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success

After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe, along with his partners, turned their business around to being one of the best advertising agencies in South Africa.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-design-pepe-marais

We interview entrepreneur Pepe Marais, who co-founded Joe Public, one of the biggest independently owned advertising agencies in South Africa. After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe found his life’s purpose and not only turned his business around, but his entire life. It’s all documented in his booked titled Growing Greatness, which is a must read.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending