AT WHAT STAGE DO YOU TYPICALLY SUPPORT COMPANIES?
- Your startup is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people
- Your team is based in one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (please see here for a list of eligible countries or see list further down this page)
- You have a very strong management team
- You have a digital product or service available on the market right now, with demonstrated tangible traction and evidence of revenue
- You have potential to achieve scale
- You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K - $1.5m
- While there will be exceptions, mostly likely your startup has already received investment capital, structured as either debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations.
Is there a fee for joining or participating in XL Africa?
No. XL Africa is free to join.
The support you receive is free, as are your flight and accommodation costs to attend the Cape Town Residency.
does xl africa provide any funding?
No, we do not provide funding. But we will work hard to partner you with the right type of investor. If an investor becomes interested in your company, any term sheet negotiations will be between you and your investor.
How many companies are selected for the cohort?
Up to 20.
So How does the application process work?
After the June 12th, 2017 deadline, we will screen all applications for eligibility.
An adjudication team of 3-5 people, comprising entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, corporate partners and our program team, will use our selection criteria (see below) to rank and score each application.
Up to 30 of the highest-scoring startups will prep for a virtual interview with us to present their cases and answer any questions. We might also ask for pitch decks, revised financials and details on the product or service.
The 20 highest-scoring startups are accepted into XL Africa.
Tell me about your selection criteria?
Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%)
The company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital solution is different to others in the industry. The product or service is catalyzing social change.
Strategy for Growth (25%)
There is potential to expand into new markets or expand at home. We can see demonstrable progress, and your startup is scalable.
The team have the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
Market Traction & Financials (25%)
We will evaluate the market traction and look at the potential market size. We'll also look at the business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.
What's available for you at XL Africa?
We can help with access to funding, networks, mentoring and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs in the form of the following:
Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided, based on your specific needs.
An opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
Support in developing investment packages so you're ready for investment following the program.
- Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.
When will I hear if i'm selected?
Everyone who's selected as a finalist will hear from us on August 14, 2017.
can i apply if my company isn't registered in an african country?
Definitely. We only ask that your team be based in one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Can I still apply if I've already received funding?
Absolutely. We will help you with advice and connections to additional investors if you need additional funding.
if i join xl africa, what are my commitments?
Once you’re signed up, there are steps we take together and steps you take yourself. First, we will work with you to assess your business. We need to know exactly how best we can help.
We will plan a road map for your company’s development, and to agree on a series of milestones to achieve which we track as you progress through the program.
You will also be asked to:
Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over five months. Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, we expect these relationships to last long after the program has ended.
Over five months, participate in four virtual webinars sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
Participate in the residential program in South Africa for two weeks in November 2017.
Engage with 19 other African enterprises, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
- Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate
To be eligible for XL Africa, your startup can be registered anywhere, but your team must be based in one of the following countries
ANGOLA | BENIN | BOTSWANA | BURKINA FASO | BURUNDI | CABO VERDE | CAMEROON | CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC | CHAD | COMOROS | CONGO, DEM. REP. | CONGO, REP. | COTE D'IVOIRE | EQUATORIAL GUINEA | ERITREA | ETHIOPIA | GABON | GAMBIA, THE | GHANA | GUINEA | GUINEA-BISSAU | KENYA | LESOTHO | LIBERIA | MADAGASCAR | MALAWI | MALI | MAURITANIA | MAURITIUS | MOZAMBIQUE | NAMIBIA | NIGER | NIGERIA | RWANDA | SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE| SENEGAL | SEYCHELLES | SIERRA LEONE | SOMALIA| SOUTH AFRICA | SOUTH SUDAN | SUDAN | SWAZILAND | TANZANIA | TOGO | UGANDA | ZAMBIA | ZIMBABWE
April 19 - XL Africa launch
May 10 - XL Africa info session (1pm GMT)
May 23 - XL Africa info session (1pm GMT)
June 12 - Application deadline
June 12 - July 14 - Review and selection of semifinalists
July 17 - August 11 - Video interviews and selection of 20 XL Africa finalist companies
August 14 - Public announcement of 20 XL Africa finalist companies
August 14 - September 15 - Needs assessment, mentor matchmaking
September - November - Mentorship
November 6-17 - Residency in Cape Town
November - December - XL Africa support continues