Africa’s leading private seed fund 88mph, has, in follow up to its 3-month accelerator program, flown in more mentors to its Nairobi office, which will see selected startups learn from veteran entrepreneurs ahead of the Demo Day slated for December 13.
HumanIPO caught up with one of the mentors to find out exactly what new experiences they are set to impart.
“This year, we are here to actually share ideas on strategy, to help the startups turn their ideas into action,” said Stefano Zorzi, a consultant with Quartz+Co. “First, we want to know where they (startups) are, what are the main challenges they are facing, and help them plan come up with an action plan that will help them overcome the problems and grasp bigger opportunities.”
Zorzi said that one of the main challenges that African startups face is transforming their business ideas into profitable companies, the main reason for their coming in to help.
“There is a lot of hype in Europe about Africa’s tech scene, and we are here to help turn the entrepreneurs’ dreams into reality, considering the fact that the infrastructure and the skills here are not as advanced as Europe,” Zorzi added.
This year, 16 mentors from six different companies in Europe joined the already in-house mentors who have been helping 88mph’s 2012 batch to prepare for the Demo day.
The mentors are “senior people in their respective companies that operate in different fields ranging from strategy, marketing and sales, technical, procurement management.”
The mentors will stay with the Nairobi startups for a period of not less than four days, in which they expect to have made a good progress, in helping the startups refine their business models.
In an earlier interview with HumanIPO, Kresten Buch, Founder of 88mph said that there is need to link the techies with more experienced business people, to help them scale their business ideas into companies, adding that this is something they are now focussing on more, to help “increase the traction of the startups, and attract more investors.”
During the Demo day, the 2012 batch of startups will pitch their businesses to potential investors and other interested parties, where they expect to get follow-on funding to scale their business ideas.