Does Your Business Idea Pass The 88mph Test?

88mph, accelerator and investment fund has opened applications for its second Cape Town programme, and has brought in new talent to head up the program.

During the three-month accelerator programme, which begins in February, 2014, startups will receive mentoring, access to networks, technical infrastructure and workspace, in exchange for an equity stake. The programme concludes with Demo Day where startups pitch for follow-on funding.

88mph Program Manager Dan Bowyer (pictured right), who will be sourcing potential investments and overseeing the existing portfolio, said a “state of excited anticipation” would remain until applications close on December 31.

“Africa is the continent of invention and we are front and centre, asking entrepreneurs to commit to their innovative business ideas that can make money and do great things. In return we are offering up to US$100k seed funding to get their idea off the ground,” he said.

88mph ran its first programme in Cape Town between February and April this year, with participating startups including taxi calling service Zapacab, payment solutions specialists Peach Payments, tradesman platform Near A Builder, electricity monitoring company Homebug, video streaming service Wabona and Easy2Map’s #mydoorhandle.

The accelerator programme in Nairobi, Kenya, is currently taking place, with 88mph having invested US$500,000 in eight startups chosen from more than 300 applications from around the world.

2 thoughts on “Does Your Business Idea Pass The 88mph Test?

  1. Hello my name is Sihle Banganie. Im 21 years of age and my sister is 23. Lately we’ve been asking ourselves what can we do out here in Soweto that hasnt been done? And a big one hit me. I explained the idea to my sister and she agreed that it could fly but our conversation ended up with questions like: who would we get to fund us? Would people buy into it? How long would it take us to start up? Etc. Now when i found this website/blog, i felt like its the right place to start. If there is anyone who can give us or point us in the right direction in terms of advice on business proposals, market research and funding it would delight both my sister and I. I look forward to get a response on this. Thank you.

  2. Sihle.

    A few things to consider. Hopefully answering some of your questions.

    1st off. It’s GREAT that you’re thinking how you are. True entrepreneurial spirit. Please don’t stop.

    * Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel. Your idea doesn’t have to be new to be a flyer. Google wasn’t the first search engine (By quite some way). What you do need to do is be cheaper, better, different or new. Some would argue all 4 😉

    * Ask friends and family if your idea is a goer. Then ask potential customers, suppliers and partners. Don’t worry too much about your idea being stolen. Ideas are 10 a penny. You probably won’t be the first or last to consider whatever it is that you’re thinking about. Get it out there are be rigorous with concept testing on paper.

    * Read everything on our website and then Apply. Using the application as a learning process rather than worrying about whether we’re the right bunch to work with or not.

    * Read everything on other Seed, Incubator, VC websites. Y-Combinator being the worlds biggest Accelerator Program. Get your brain upspecced.

    * It’s a bit of a big hairy scary beast starting your own business and you won’t know where to start. To start, focus on the fundamentals:

    Do you have a viable scalable business model?

    Is there a market for what you’re selling?

    Can you make money doing it?

    – Dan. Program Manager. 88mph.

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