International Finance Corporation (IFC) Next 100 African Startups Initiative for Promising African Startups

The Next 100 African Startups Initiative is a program, launched in partnership between the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will select up to 100 promising African start-ups to participate in the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh on December 8-10. Selected startups will be given the opportunity to connect with international investors and financial institutions, government officials, and policymakers from the African continent.

Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has grown rapidly over the past decade, thanks to growing momentum among its entrepreneurs and increased collaboration between a number of key regional entities. This has resulted in a significantly enhanced ecosystem and more funding opportunities. The Africa 2018 Forum, which takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh from December 8-9, under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, offers an opportunity to take this burgeoning ecosystem a step further.

The initiative’s aim is to unlock the region’s entrepreneurial potential by showcasing Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and start-ups, and creating markets for early stage businesses. The program targets Africa-based startups that have already demonstrated some level of success, either by generating revenue or by developing a working prototype. The selected startups and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network with, and be connected to, top business and political leaders.

The initiative builds on MIIC strong efforts to stimulate the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem and help its young people explore new and innovative ways to create better futures for themselves and their communities. This support is provided through networks, innovative financial instruments, as well as regulations and policies that eliminate barriers and integrate Egyptian entrepreneurs into regional and global markets.

In Africa, IFC deployed about $100mm in early stage tech investments in Africa with IFC portfolio including Africa’s Talking (Enterprise Software), Andela (Ed-tech), Branch (fintech), Bridge Academy (Ed-tech), Interswitch (fintech), Mobisol (Clean tech), TwigaFoods(m-commerce), Zoona (fintech), Adlevo (tech fund), BioVentures (tech fund), Partech Ventures Africa (venture capital fund).

Criteria for Selection

Stage of Operation
The company must either be generating revenue with demonstrated early success, or have a working prototype or a product on the market.

Previous Funding
Typically, the company would have already received one or two rounds of funding and is now seeking Series A or Series B funding in the coming year.

Positive Impact
The company must have the potential to make a substantial long-term impact on African business and society as well as a commitment to improving the region.

The company should have well-formulated goals and plans for development.

The company must have visionary leadership with the capacity to drive it towards success.

Independent Company
The company must not be a subsidiary or a joint venture.

Travel and accommodation expenses for startups will be covered by IFC if needed.

An independent committee will be given the task of selecting the participants for the Next 100 African Startups Initiative.

For more information visit the official webpage
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Author: Edith Oni

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