I’M IN Accelerator has disclosed it would be running an all-women cohort this year as reported by Ventureburn.
The I’M IN seed accelerator which is currently opened for application launches black owned, high growth tech startups into the South African ICT sector by providing opportunities to technically apt entrepreneurs with limited access to resources.
As part of requirements for eligibility, the tech startups must have a live/demonstrable proof of concept, minimum of 51 % black ownership & management and must be available to attend all sessions with venture partners during phase 1 of programme.
The Johannesburg-based accelerator, launched last year by IDF Capital partners with entrepreneurs with viable application technologies by providing seed funding through early stage equity deals in conjunction with business development support and one on one mentorship from industry specialists.
The accelerator allows startups to test their assumptions and validate their products in the market, commercializing startups that show real market potential.
I’M IN is currently in the middle of its inaugural cohort, which is set to conclude the first phase of acceleration later this month.
Polo Leteka, IDF Capital executive director said yesterday that the all-female cohort is “the programme’s biggest plan for 2018”.
According to Leteka, “in our experience we have not seen a lot of females playing in this space because of the lack of targeted programmes to empower and grow them, amongst other reasons. We have tasked ourselves to bring 15 women into the programme before the end of the calendar year.”
I’M IN accelerator’s inaugural cohort launched in September 2017 with 10 startups.
Commenting on the progress of the first cohort, she said the participants have developed platforms which “required minimal intervention from our mentors”. This, she said, demonstrates that ICT skills in young black entrepreneurs exist and have been developing over the years.
“As a result we spent more time focusing on adequately resourcing the companies through HR (human resources) support, commercialization, market access, funding and other areas,” she said.
Leteka also revealed that some of the participants have been able to secure strong contracts and capture market share greater than what the accelerator initially anticipated.
However, she said some of the companies have lost out on transactions and taken more time to figure out their position in the market.
“None of the issues encountered have been catastrophic,” she stressed.
Apply here if you are in.