7 Startup Accelerators For Founders In Africa

7 Startup Accelerators For Founders In Africa

Entrepreneurs say that the biggest challenge they face when starting a business is getting adequate funding. Traditional bank loans for small businesses have historically been tough to obtain, but recent market trends are making it even more difficult for new startups to get the funding they need.

Startup accelerators have come to fill the void and taken up the challenge of identifying entrepreneurial companies in their early stages, mentoring, and offering the required seed funding and business development to make them profitable.

African startups are increasingly getting accepted into accelerators and incubators around the world, opening them up to new markets that they would normally not have been able to access.

Whether you are looking to build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to scale up, startup accelerators are the way to go.

In this article, we have 7 startup accelerators in Africa for you to look through.


1. Antler [Kenya]

Antler Kenya DashboardAntler is a global startup accelerator with programs in various countries around the world, from Europe to Asia Pacific, North America, and Africa.

Antler’s African chapter is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

Although they operate multiple chapters globally, Antler’s 6-month accelerator programs run very much the same way: founders get a living expense stipend ($1,500 per month in Nairobi) for the duration of the program, in addition to an upfront investment in return for a percentage of the company. In Nairobi, startups receive $100,000 in return for 20%.


2. Co-creation Hub [Nigeria]


Co-creation hub is an innovation center dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. The main areas of focus for the Co-Creation Hub are Education, Fintech, Digital Security, Health, and Smart Infrastructure.  

CCHub Dashboard

CcHub, which is headquartered in Nigeria, recently launched the CcHUB Design Lab in Kigali, Rwanda which is a great step toward the growth of emerging technologies around Africa. Co-Creation Hub offers entrepreneurs and startups 3 separate programs:

  • ‍A 6-month pre-incubation program for idea-stage entrepreneurs comes with a $5,000 in funding.
  • A 12-month incubation program for startups to help them gain traction and develop their product. As part of the incubator, startups also receive $25,000 in funding and various perks (office space, mentorship, etc.)
  • A 12-week accelerator program for startups that already have an MVP, some early traction, and need support to refine their business model, scale, and raise additional funding. Additionally, startups can receive up to $250,000 as part of the program


3. The Baobab Network [Kenya]


The functions of this accelerator are inspired by the Baobab tree which is a symbol of consistent, long-term growth. The Baobab Network recognizes that each startup is different and this requires a customized approach. 

TheBaobabNetwork - Dashboard

Based in Kenya, The Baobab Network is a 24-month program where startups receive hands-on mentorship and support. Startups also receive $25,000 in initial funding as part of the program, in return for 10% equity.

Yet, unlike most accelerators, there is no fixed start date for the program. Instead, they accept applications on a rolling basis and onboard startups throughout the year.


4. Falak Startups [Egypt]


Falak Startups is one of Egypt’s leading startup accelerator programs backed by the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation’s own VC fund Egypt Ventures.

FalakStartups Dashboard

Although they mostly advertise their sector-agnostic general accelerator, Falak Startups also runs a separate fintech program.

In addition to EGP 2,000,000, each company receives as part of the program, startups may also receive follow-on funding from Egypt Ventures and other partner funds in the future as they scale.

Also Read: Breaking Barriers of Bias – How Hilda Moraa is Connecting MSMEs in Africa to Much Needed Debt Capital Through Pezesha


5. GreenHouse Lab [Nigeria]


GreenHouse Lab is a three-month accelerator focused solely on early-stage, female-led, or female-focused technology start-ups across Africa, as well as African-run start-ups, domiciled overseas with products that are scalable in African markets.

Greenhouse Lab aims to support women-led B2B tech African startups.

GreenHouseCapital - Dashboard

Also, Greenhouse doesn’t automatically invests in the startups that follow the program, they often do but it isn’t guaranteed.


6. MEST Africa [Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa]


MEST Africa is a pan-African startup hub and incubation program for technology startups.

MestAfrica Dashboard

Founded in Ghana in 2008 as a training center for entrepreneurs, MEST now has offices in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, and Cape Town. Also, they have incubated over 80 startups to date from over 30 countries.

In addition to offering training programs to entrepreneurs (engineering, marketing, etc.), MEST runs 3 separate programs:

  • MEST Seed: 18 to 24 months incubation program where startups also receive funding from $50k to $250k
  • MEST Express: a 20-week incubation program where startups get support in refining their business model and pitch deck to help them raise funding at Demo Day at the end of the program
  • MEST Scale: acceleration program backed by Mastercard Foundation for SMEs that already found product-market-fit and have been generating revenues for over 3 years now


7. Tony Elumelu Foundation [Nigeria]


Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is a philanthropic organization that promotes entrepreneurship across Africa through a philosophy known as Africapitalism. This program is designed to position African entrepreneurs as agents of economic and social development.  More than 7,000 enterprises have benefited from TEF in 54 African countries and the alumni list keeps growing each year.

TonyElumeluFoundation Dashboard

Other mentions

  1. Africa Mobility Initiative
  2. Akro Accelerate
  3. AUC Venture Lab
  4. Cortex Hub
  5. Founder Institute
  6. Google For Startups
  7. HSeven
  8. Innovation Edge
  9. Innovate Ventures


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