Johannesburg – 10 October 2018
Founders Factory, the corporate backed tech startup accelerator and incubator is partnering with Standard Bank and Roo Rogers to bring its unique model to Africa. Founders Factory Africa will design, build and scale 100 disruptive tech startups across the continent over the next five years. Standard Bank will be the first of multiple corporate partners, each investing several million pounds. Together, these partners aim to grow the tech startup community across Africa, create jobs and attract new capital to the sector.
Founders Factory, co-founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox in London in 2015, has already proven its success in launching and scaling startups across a range of sectors with the backing of seven major corporates. So far, Founders Factory has secured over £100m in funding for its 70 startups; and implemented 60 pilots with its corporate partners with 30% securing enterprise contracts and five closing direct investments.
Founders Factory Africa will combine this internationally proven model and expertise with locally based talent to grow businesses. It will be led by Roo Rogers, serial global entrepreneur, former partner of world leading design agency fuseproject, and leader behind UK and US governments backed emerging market accelerator SPRING. The accelerator will grow existing businesses through a bespoke six month programme, whilst the incubator will build completely new businesses focused on addressing key issues on the continent. It will be based in Johannesburg and will hire over 40 full-time specialists locally, covering all aspects needed to scale its startups including product development, UX/UI, engineering, investment, business development and, growth marketing.
Standard Bank will be the first corporate partner in Africa to work with Founders Factory Africa in scaling five early stage startups in its accelerator and co-creating two new companies every year within the incubator.
Zweli Manyathi, Chief Executive, Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank, said: “We are proud to partner with Founders Factory Africa. We look forward to creating a support system for entrepeneurs which helps them work better with large corporates in order to grow their businesses and create jobs across Africa. We recognize that it is entrepreneurs and harnessing the unique entrepreneurial spirit within Africa, that is critical to the prosperity and growth of the continent.”
Standard Bank and future corporates will play an integral role by providing access to market, supply chains, customer acquisition channels, data and IP to the startups. These resources and infrastructure will deliver an “unfair competitive advantage” to the businesses that Founders Factory Africa scale.
In addition to the corporate support and the hands-on support from Founders Factory Africa, the participating startups will have access to global capital, talent and knowledge transfer through the Founders network that includes world class entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and successful startups across Africa, Europe, the UK and the US.
Founders Factory Africa will create and scale businesses that solve mass needs across the continent. More than that, it will unlock major opportunities for start-ups by attracting local and foreign investment, creating jobs and boosting entrepreneurship across Africa.
Roo Rogers, Co-Founder & CEO Founders Factory Africa, said: “Having worked in Africa for over a decade, I believe success is underpinned by strong collaboration. By harnessing the resources of Africa’s greatest startup entrepreneurs and combining with the operational might of corporates, we will deliver scaled solutions to Sub-Sahara’s 1 billion consumers and establish Africa as an attractive destination for global investment.
“I am excited to work with the best startups and their founders, and leveraging my operational team, our corporate investors and the wider Founders Factory global network to build Africa's hyper-scaled ventures.”
Henry Lane Fox, Co-Founder and CEO, Founders Factory, said: “The time for Africa is now. As the world’s best partner for founders, we are excited to help empower a new generation of African entrepreneurs to build market-defining technology products. Combining the reach and insight of forward-thinking investors like Standard Bank with an exceptional team of digital experts will make Founders Factory Africa a unique platform for building and scaling startups.
“We look forward to applying our learnings and methodology to the sub-Saharan Africa market and to supporting the most talented and ambitious founders.”
Founders Factory Africa is accepting applications for its accelerator programme via www.foundersfactoryafrica.com
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