m:lab East Africa, a mobile innovation and entrepreneurship development facility, has recently signed a new partnership with the leading crowdfunding platform Grow VC. m:lab is establishing itself as a top mobile application incubator and is a consortium consisting of 4 organizations,
• eMobilis- involved in education, training, accreditation and certification
• World Wide Web Foundation -which handles the content of the curriculum, training and education.
• The University of Nairobi – a computer technology school for rigorous academic research.
• iHub -leveraging interaction within the community, the development arena, events and most importantly access to capital and markets
The m:lab facility was launched with the support of a seed fund through the World Bank in 2011. Providing high potential entrepreneurs with technical and business training, a world class mobile testing facility, capital access and mentoring, one of m:lab’s main objectives is to help scale up startups into sustainable businesses within their first 2 years of operation.
m:lab currently has 2 facilities in Africa, those being Pretoria and Kenya and they have recently opened 3 more in Armenia, Vietnam and Pakistan. The interconnected mobile app development labs with ties to Finland’s Nokia and World Bank’s InfoDev, provide a unique opportunity for startup entrepreneurs to grow. This is especially the case with Africa, where mobile penetration is at 100% yet developers are scarce and high priced. The strategically placed m:lab East Africa, will draw upon South Africa’s high bandwidth environment and incubate entrepreneurs while leveraging its connections throughout all of Africa.
The arrangement of a partnership with GrowVC is anticipated to benefit all recipients of m:lab East Africa’s mobile entrepreneurship development services, which include
• resident incubation clients
• app development trainees
• contestants in the Pivot East Competition
• and more
The partnership will also aim to address the issue of mismatched financing needs in East Africa. The GrowVC platform allows for funding in various stages and allows better startup valuations for entrepreneurs. The same models are also mutually beneficial to investors who can mitigate their risks by making investing a step by step process, rather than an all or nothing scenario. GrowVC is a nurturing ecosystem which openly and transparently connects startup entrepreneurs, experts and funders with one another in order to realize their passions. The platform allows startups to raise financing of up to 1M USD while exchanging shares of equity. The site also allows startups to seek out new team members using its work investment model. Now m:lab East Africa will be able to take advantage of these same tools, allowing m:lab to assist startups even more than ever before. The new affiliate network on the GrowVC platform is part of a larger initiative, developing affiliate networks all over the world with the ability to interconnect and network with the other networks. A concept which in essence is creating a new Global Silicon Valley. For participants in the Pivot East Competition, the affiliate network is now accessible here.
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This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 2:00 pm and is filed under Business Updates, Seed Capital. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.