Why Apply to the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Cape Town?

12/05/2016 | By Yossi Hasson

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

Alex Iskold, Managing Director of Techstars NYC, has written about Top 10 Reasons to Join (or not Join) an Accelerator.

In addition, here are 5 Reasons to join the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Cape Town programme:

Reason #1: You get access to INCREDIBLE mentors

Our mentors are a diverse and amazing collection of financial services executives, successful entrepreneurs, city power-brokers, top angel investors and venture capitalists, as well as experts with backgrounds in product, engineering, legal, marketing and finance.

In addition, you get instant access and mentorship to senior Barclays team members who define success as you being successful. Our mentors are well known to us and are trusted, connected and effective as evidenced by the qualitative and quantitative feedback we get back from our founders.

Reason #2: You really grow & accelerate your business

The program is rigorous and results driven. We help the companies make tangible progress and help grow and accelerate their business. 90 percent of the companies that joined our 2016 class were able to announce a proof-of-concept with Barclays on Demo Day.

At Demo Day, companies present their business to a curated group of investors and partners. Our last Demo Day was held at The Lookout in Cape Town’s Waterfront and 500 people were in attendance, of which over half were VC’s or angels.

The companies announced various deals, partnerships and proof of concepts that were initiated and agreed during the programme. These included deals with Barclays, Quirk, Sage, BermanBros, and many others.

Reason #3: Companies have gone on to raise very successful funding rounds

Having paying customers helps generate investor interest, and this interest has translated into very successful funding rounds. Companies such as Post Quantum, Ravelin, Do Pay and Cutover are just a few examples.

Globally, Techstars has the highest success rates for follow-on funding, over 90 successful portfolio company exits and $2.4 Billion of combined portfolio financing. 

Reason #4: You get a network for life

Techstars is not just an intensive programme. It is one of the largest and fastest growing networks of entrepreneurs around the world. Once you are a part of Techstars, you are a part of Techstars for life, and you get to be part of the network that helps you go faster and accelerate your current and future businesses.

For instance, Techstars has a team of seven people in the Valley that run partnerships and M&A, which companies tap into many months or years after they finish the programme.

Reason #5: In Cape Town, you are at one of the key hubs of the African global FinTech scene

Cape Town is a great place to build a startup and is a melting pot of rich culture, talent and energy.

You will be surrounded by a fantastic and supportive ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and corporate innovators.

Many of Africa’s top banks, corporates and asset managers are also located here in the Western Cape.

Africa is fertile ground for new fintech services which are leveraging the power of communities and social media to make financial services more relevant. The technological boom in the financial sector is not only making waves in innovation, but it’s also creating jobs and redefining employment roles within existing, traditional businesses.

And, of course, we boast the one and only ‘Table Mountain’!

What Founders Say

Founders appreciate and value our work. We received an incredibly high, 100% Net Promoter Score (NPS) score from the latest Techstars Barclays Africa 2016 programme. Here is what founders are saying about our program:

"The Techstars Accelerator Program took our company from an idea with potential into a growing business in just a few short months. The Techstars mantra of getting 12 months worth of growth done in 3 months really is true. During the crucial stage of our business where we had to decide which direction to focus on, we received invaluable feedback and input from a diverse and large number of experienced mentors. The Techstars network and reputation has also opened so many doors for us and has catapulted us forward with introductions to clients and investors. We would highly recommend it for start-up entrepreneurs that want to grow fast and have big ambitions for their business".

Bradley  – CEO, Wizzpass

"Unlike other companies in the accelerator, when entering the program BenBen was yet to launch our company. We were still working to finalize our development and narrow our focus for customer acquisition. The program was essential for these aspects as we were able to get introduced to Barclays executives, industry leaders, and mentors possessing valuable insight. These connections lead us to bringing on our first customer in Barclays, being able to validate our business model through existing similar companies, and find creative solutions to finalize our development. We are now leveraging the investor network as we are raising our next round of funding. We plan to continue to leverage this network as we scale BenBen throughout Ghana and the world".

Daniel Bloch – CEO, BenBen

Being part of The BarclaysAccelerator Programme not only got us our 1st major investor but raised the profile of our company massively! We came in seeking to solve for an efficient and effective acquisition strategy and the Barclays Accelerator facilitated a controlled pilot, mentors with amazing ideas and experience and associates to help with the implementation. To top it all we had a 'cofounder' figure (Yossi) to assist us through decisions,negotiations and the stress that comes with entrepreneurship! Jamii is the beast it is because of The Barclays Accelerator Programme!

Lilian Makoi - CEO, Jamii

Apply before 5th February 2017 and join us for an incredible journey. Note, we review applications on a rolling basis so the earlier you apply, the better.

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