L’Afrique Excelle is a six-month acceleration program aimed at supporting the 20 most promising start-ups in the digital sector in French-speaking Africa. FINAM (Federation of Innovative & Numeric Activities in Mauritius) is a local partner of L’Afrique Excelle. It encourages Mauritian entrepreneurs and startups to apply.
Supporting the best digital entrepreneurs in French-speaking Africa
Launched by the World Bank Group in late November 2018, L’Afrique Excelle aims to encourage Mauritian entrepreneurs and startups to apply. The result is a 6-month program including 2 residential stays, one in Mali and one in France. To end with a pitch at VivaTech in May 2019. This initiative aims to support the 20 most promising digital start-ups in Francophone Africa.
Which start-ups are concerned by L’Afrique Excelle?
To apply, companies and startups must be in an acceleration phase. They must also have a commercial purpose, at least 3 full-time employees, offer an existing product or service, and have a 75% presence in French-speaking African markets. In addition, L’Afrique Excelle will help the selected companies to attract capital ranging from $250,000 to $5 million (approximately Rs. 8-30 million).
Residential training in Bamako and Paris
The planned trainings will take place in Bamako, Mali, but also in Paris, France. These residential trainings should offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their professional network. In addition, the selected startups will have the opportunity to learn from local mentors and partners. Then, a Final Pitch at VivaTech 2019 is expected to conclude the Paris residential training. In addition, it will be an opportunity for candidates to present their start-up to an audience of investors and large companies. Experts in new technologies and media will also be present.
“Africa Excelle is an excellent opportunity to support startups and innovative Mauritian entrepreneurship. This initiative of the World Bank Group and its partners is in line with our actions in Mauritius, which aspires to become a ‘startup nation’. The valorization of companies present on the French-speaking African markets and South-South exchanges constitute the originality of this program. FINAM is honoured to be the local partner. We encourage Mauritian companies in the acceleration phase to participate in the programme”, said Catherine Dubreuil, President of FINAM.
Leading business angels and investment funds
Partners include leading investment funds and business angels active in French-speaking Africa. For example, there are Orange Digital Ventures, Investisseurs et Partenaires, Brightmore Capital and AHL Ventures. Also present will be Outlierz, TLcom Capital, Accion, Goodwell Investments, Blue Haven Ventures, Comoe Investments and IFC Venture Capital. They will play a key role in selecting the finalists. Then, they will accompany the entrepreneurs throughout the process of preparing to raise funds.
The commitments of the 20 selected finalists
Finally, it is to know that the 20 finalists will participate in a week of residential training in Mali from 25-30 March 2019. The 10 best will be selected. Then, they will continue the program and will have to :
- Exchange regularly with their mentors (4 to 6 hours per month) for 6 months.
- Over the course of 6 months, participate in 5 webinars designed and facilitated by experts, including African and American investors and entrepreneurs.
- Participate in the residential training week in France (May 13-18, 2019) and the Final Pitch at VivaTech in Paris.
- Collaborate with your peers from selected African companies, as well as with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
- Participate with an open mind and be willing to learn from and work with others.