Start-up acceleration is no longer a new concept in Kenya. The market is already served by firms that seek to address the plight of startup development and scaling. One of them, Pangea Trust, serves as an empowerment entity, and its presence in the country is notable following a series of fairs, some of them held on online platforms, it has been conducting here.
It has also emerged, as a consensus, that startups have stood up a couple of temporary solutions to address new demands on them, and faster than they had thought possible prior to the pandemic.
However, an online event led by Pangea Trust, and moderated by security engineer Dr. Bright Gameli, focused on gaining key insights and rounding up effective solutions in fixing startup financing opportunities, as well as Islamic finance as a sector.
[Note, Islamic Finance is not limited to specific people, so any group can access it]
The platform also saw the launch of Pangea Connect Call for Application and sharing of insights because it has since emerged that some startups have issues seeking the help of funders, or do not have the expertise to engage potential investors. The issue was tackled by the moderator, who also highlighted that there are many investors in the industry, but have not been able to single out the best options, probably because of a communication issue.
Many other issues were brought up by panelists and attending members. For instance, some startups are unable to develop scalable business ideas. Some are unique but have failed to leverage the uniqueness for profitability.
Panelists also noted that some firms have brilliant ideas, but they do not solve real issues.
Combine with other missteps, such as the aforementioned issue of picking the right funding option, most of these businesses close down in less than one year after launch.
Circling back to Call for Application, interested startups should be aware of a few pointers. First of all, it is basically a channel that is seeking to connect startups to investors and funders.
Startups can then access diaspora networks and technical expertise that should play a key role in building a scalable business.
The businesses can also have a fresh perspective from other African diaspora communities of funders that have vast knowledge about the industry.
Pangea also mentions that Smart investments can range from $20K to $150K.
To this end, Pangea is expecting more than 500 applications, which will then be evaluated for eligibility. Some of the selection criteria include domain expertise, be a tech-based startup, showcase market opportunities and illustrate a robust impact angle.
To note, applications have been going on since July but will be concluded before the month (September) ends.
The screening process is also ongoing at the moment, but at different levels.
Then before October, 10 finalists will be picked from the pool.
The finalists will then be vetted and prepared to face investors.
Lastly, investment decisions will then be made in December.