Entreprevolution Foundation, a startup accelerator working across university campuses in Ghana, has been named search partner by MassChallenge for its 2015 program. Entreprevolution has therefore begun the search for interested startups in the West African region that it can help to apply, between Feb 11 – April 1, 2015, to enter the MassChallenge Accelerator in either Boston, USA or London, UK. See details: http://www.entreprevolution.org/mcpartnership.Mr. Nicolo Catto, Global Connector at Entreprevolution notes that MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator. It is the first accelerator to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs in any industry with no strings attached. It awards over $1m in cash prizes to winning startups, with zero equity taken. It also provides world-class mentorship and training, free office space,access to funding, legal advice, media attention and over $10m in in-kind support.
Mr. Catto said Mass Challenge is relying on Entreprevolution to identify startups in Ghana and the broader West African region which can benefit from their acceleration program in Boston or London between June and October 2015. Mr. Robby Bitting, Director of Marketing for MassChallenge noted “By working closely with Entreprevolution, we hope to dramatically increase the impact we can have within the Western African startup community with a focus on Ghana and beyond” MassChallenge will provide Entreprevolution with a limited number of free applications to top startups and a number of discounted applications (50% off) to its accelerator programs in Boston, USA and London. Entreprevolution will help interested startups with: guidance through the application process; references for the startups; visa support materials (but no assurances); accommodation guidance in Boston & London; network introductions and important local information. Selected startups will be expected to deliver a 20 min pitch in Boston or London in May 2015 and if selected as Finalist, startups need to be physically present and engage in the MassChallenge program from June to end of October 2015.
Mr. Catto said “Having lived in Boston for several years during my university education, this is a great opportunity for Ghanaian startups that need that global exposure because Boston is probably No.2 to Silicon Valley but a much tighter startup community”. Mr. Bright Botchway, Funding Lead for Entreprevolution, also noted “Having worked with start-ups in Accra and in Boston at MassChallenge, I believe there is more than enough talent in Accra/West Africa to compete and win on global platforms such as what MassChallenge provides. I hope interested startups in the sub region will use this opportunity to get themselves out there on the world’s biggest stage!”Entreprevolution is a non-profit organization founded on the premise that closing the entrepreneurship “practice gap” is the best way to engage the growing number of university graduates, with shrinking job opportunities. Dr. Gordon Adomdza, an entrepreneurship professor in Boston, who is also a cofounder of Entreprevolution, noted that the organization helps small groups of interested students to practice the art of entrepreneurship through workshops on various campuses across Ghana.
At these workshops, project teams are provided with tools to help them understand the problem they are trying to solve, tools to test whether the problem fits an actual need in the market place and further tools to develop business models and to test them; all before starting a business on the their idea. “When you have the resources and you want to start a business, you can start small and build from there. When you don’t have the resources, like most students, and you are not sure if you have a good idea, you should be able to experiment with your idea and the market before you invest any significant amount of money. That’s what we help project teams do”. said Dr. Adomdza.
While currently testing its own accelerator program, Entreprevolution is using this opportunity to issue an open call to help all interested startups in West Africa, for this year’s MassChallenge applications; but hopes to field more teams from its own cross-campus accelerator program in the future. “Participating in accelerators abroad is not for every startup. But local startups are increasingly facing global competition and we want to help some to insulate themselves by helping them engage directly in the global startup scene from scratch” Said Dr. Adomdza.
For further information, call: +233 24 487 9515 or +1 781 290 9984, or Email: email@example.com . Website: http://www.entreprevolution.org/mcpartnership