Yesterday, 8 shortlisted entrepreneurs pitched to a high level panel of 5 judges, led by High Commissioner Nic Hailey, in the hope of winning mentoring and support for their start-ups as part of the British government’s Go Global Africa 2019 initiative.
The UK’s International Tech Hub Network launched its search for Kenyan, Nigerian and South African Startups to join the country’s Go Global 2019 programme last month, and successful applicants will be sponsored to join a delegation of ambitious African start-ups to the UK for a 2-week immersive programme in March 2019.
Run through the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the programme will help companies to improve their business skills and capability, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector and work with British expertise to take their business to the next level.
The shortlisted start-ups at yesterday’s judging were:
- Afya Plan who are creating a digital savings platform for groups, allowing them to save and easily manage savings for medical purposes.
- MyFugo, a web platform providing precise data-driven insights on dairy reproductive cycles which is helping to tackle the challenges faced by dairy farmers in Kenya.
- Cherehani Africa which provides a model to scale up face to face financial education to women.
- Once Sync Ltd who are providing tech solutions to the agricultural sector, integrating block chain to support more transparent processes for farmers, helping ensure they receive a decent income.
- Elikham Systems which provides waste water treatment and recycling systems.
- Afya Harvest which is combining nutrition science, organic farming and social media to promote healthy living. Their pitch came from Carolyne Nganga who explained how they are promoting the role of nutrition and organic farming in non-communicable disease prevention and management.
- Crop Crowd which uses secure peer-to-peer lending to connect philanthropic investors with farmers in East Africa with the aim of increasing food production and security.
- FlexPay which is an automated, reliable and accurate lay-by purchase platform that enables customers to afford goods and services by paying for them in instalments.
The Go Global programme will be delivered by UK based experts, professionals and business executives and divided into four main parts:
Each workshop is intended to be highly practical in nature, meaning participants can act on what they have learned immediately. Focus will be on skills and capabilities in areas where the UK has a strong competitive advantage including:
- Introductory session on UK’s Tech Ecosystem: An overview session on UK’s tech ecosystem, opportunities, incentives and schemes for startups to grow and expand.
- Consultative sales: This one-day workshop on finding your first 100 customers brings together consultative sales fundamentals and design thinking. In three steps participants will learn how to build relationships with potential customers using intelligent insight, driving conversations through empathy and advanced questioning before closing with consensus.
- How to build an impactful start-up presentation deck: A practical session.
- Session on cyber/online security.
- Negotiation: This one-day workshop demystifies negotiation fundamentals.
- Start-ups will practise applying negotiation frameworks, strategies and tactics to relevant consumer and business case studies. You will leave with a structured approach to tackle negotiations, however transactional or complex.
- Selling to corporates and enterprise in the UK: An overview of how British corporates typically work with SMEs.
- Building a strong user experience (UX): Know how to validate your product assumptions, practice efficient UX design techniques, grow your product, and optimise designs.
- Storytelling and Pitching: This one-day workshop introduces you to the principles of storytelling and the fundamentals of public speaking.
- Raising investment: How to be investment ready and raise from Angels and VCs; how to write a business plan an investor will read; cashflows and forecast; fundraising and crowdfunding.
- AI and automation for startups: Learn how to use AI and big data to deliver better services and customer experience.
- Start-ups legal Mechanics: Recap on legal mechanics for start-ups, in addition to common mistakes and problems, including IP, corporate finance, commercial.
- PR and marketing Lab: How to think about your brand and build a public profile for your start-up.
- Data responsibility as the new competitive advantage: This session will provide the tools to start-ups to better leverage their data, strengthen their commercial models and evaluate growth opportunities.
- Social responsibility and building a thriving local tech ecosystem: The role of entrepreneurs to build a strong and diverse tech ecosystem, as well as improve public services.
2. Innovation sessions with corporate incubators and accelerators
The Go Global delegates will participate in 3-4 innovation sessions with leading UK based corporate accelerators and incubators. The goal of these sessions is to highlight opportunities and models to partner with corporates for acceleration, piloting, investment and joint venturing with corporates in their home country and in the UK.
3. Meetups and Networking opportunities
Each start-up will attend two meet ups a week, engaging with London’s buzzing startup community.
4. Demo day/ Showcase event
On the last day of the programme, Go Global participants will showcase their startups and what they have achieved over the 2 weeks to an invited audience, followed by networking.
After the completion of the two week programme, participants will receive one mentoring session a month for three months following the UK trip. This will be used to follow-up on progress, as well as advise on general matters which the start-up is dealing with. Each of the participants will be expected to act as a champion for the Tech hub and pass on their expertise to their communities, as well as future cohorts of Go Global and other projects led by the hub. They will also be part of an International Tech Hub alumni network that supports members to collaborate and innovate, and matchmakes companies to opportunities for collaboration with the UK.