Traction Camp, an accelerator program that seeks to connect high-growth startups with the knowledge, capital, and access to markets, is currently accepting applications for the second cohort.
The program supports growth-oriented startups in scaling their business through a tailor-made acceleration process designed to take businesses through a rapid-cycle competitive curriculum and matches them quickly to appropriate business mentor and capital.
Startups from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, and Somalia are eligible to apply for the program. Entries to the program are to be submitted through the traction camp website.
Participating start-ups will receive mentorship from highly experienced business experts, and gain access to potential corporate partners and investors. The program promises to provide entrepreneurial skills, business acumen, access to networks, and good knowledge of financing mechanisms.
Entrepreneurs will learn through a tailor-made curriculum which covers key topics such as investment readiness and investor engagement, along with how to navigate negotiations, regulatory environments, and internationalization. Other project activities will include facilitating several access to finance (A2F) workshops to provide familiarity with financial concepts and expectations of angel investors to a broader audience.
The criteria for the selection will be guided by these factors:
User/Customer Problem – What customer pain are you solving? Is it a problem worth solving?
Solution to your Customer’s Problem – How are you solving the customer’s stated problem? What are the top features of your solution that specifically address the customer problem?
Customer Profile – What customer segments are you prioritizing? Can you provide a generalized description of your ideal customer?
Customer Acquisition Channels – What is your customer journey? What channels are you using to reach the customer segments?
Revenue streams – How will you make money with your product/solution given the current nature of the marketplace?
Management and Team Composition – What is the composition of your team: complementarity of soft and hard skills, suitability of team structure to deliver on business goals, sense of commitment to the startup?
Competitors and competitive advantage – What are the existing alternatives to your solution? How does your solution fare against competition? What differentiates you from the competition?
Market Traction – What has the business achieved so far: number of paying customers, gross monthly revenue, number of active/repeat users, Intellectual Property Assets or key partnerships, etc.
Projections for Milestones – How’s your roadmap or projections for growth within the next 24 months in terms of revenue, partnerships, expansion, number of users, potential to achieve scale, etc.
Startups can also apply for the program on the VC4Africa platform. Entries need to be submitted before the first cut-off of November 1, 2017, thereby giving applicants more time to be evaluated. The final deadline is January 15, 2018.
Traction Camp is a regional acceleration program aimed at nurturing startups in East Africa so as to create globally competitive, growth-oriented, mobile and digital technology businesses.The program is backed by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program and supported by the governments of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Kenya.
The World Bank Group’s infoDev Program is a multi-donor program that supports high-growth entrepreneurs in developing economies. infoDev oversees a global network of business incubators and innovation hubs for climate technology, agribusiness, and digital entrepreneurs. Through its centers, infoDev connects entrepreneurs with the knowledge, funding, and market opportunities they need to launch and scale their businesses.