Entrepreneurs to watch: Meet our Kenyan ventures in the Acceleration Programme, 2018

We are excited to introduce our 12th Kenyan cohort in this year’s Acceleration Programme.

Driven by the objective to scale ventures in Africa, the Acceleration Programme is committed to preparing the ventures to become investment ready and developing entrepreneurial leadership. The cohort comprises of ventures cutting across gaming entertainment, travel booking, micro-insurance services, hospitality, creative iconography, water purification & bottling, education and eco-friendly refrigeration.

During the programme, the entrepreneurs will be introduced to our proprietary tools and given the necessary support to analyse their business. They will learn how to craft strategies and plans that can aid them in the execution of these strategies and plans. Our tools further assist in capturing the learning of this process and iterate, slowly refining strategies and the overall business model into perfection.

The ventures were selected based on the potential to scale, degree of innovation, the strength and ambition of the founders and their teams, and their potential to solve key challenges through innovative products or services. The programme is led by experienced in-house facilitators who are experienced entrepreneurs themselves. It also brings on-board experienced speakers, sages and mentors who understand the dynamics of running and growing a business and who can provide valuable insights to the entrepreneurs. While the mentors follow the entrepreneurs throughout the programme and aid them in pushing the overall development of the businesses, our sages offer their expertise and experience in much more concentrated doses and more narrowly: they are leaders and specialists in a particular business area.

Sanne Meijboom, Founder of I Like Local

With the first bootcamp running this week, Sanne Meijboom, Founder of I Like Local shared her thoughts on the programme so far, “My impression of the programme is that it is very thought-through, extensive and in-depth. I am very excited to get started.”

The ventures in the programme are:

Kopa Cent
Since 2016, KopaCent has been offering salaried individuals affordable salary advances using technology and leveraging on mobile money. The business model allows the company to have a more flexible process than mainstream lenders and to deliver the requested advances in record time. Their target clients are employed individuals in Nairobi, in both the public and private sectors and aged between 26 and 50 years.

Website: www.kopacent.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kopacent
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kopacent_

FreshBox enables merchants to accelerate their earning potential by providing a safe and sustainable solution for refrigerating fruits and vegetables. Their flagship unit is a solar-powered, walk-in cold room that can hold over 2100kg of fruits & vegetables and can reach below freezing temperatures helping prevent the spoilage. They have been in operation since 2017.

Website: www.freshbox.co.ke
Twitter: www.twitter.com/freshboxKe
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FreshBoxKe
Instagram: www.instagram.com/freshboxkenya

I Like Local
Founded in 2014, I Like Local enables travelers to book authentic travel experiences directly from locals in Asia and Africa. It creates in-depth experiences for travelers and direct income for local people. 100% of the money asked by the local hosts is directly paid to them.Their customers are 70% women [25-35years], 27% men [35-45 years] and 3% families mainly from US, Europe and Australia.

Website: www.i-likelocal.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/I_Like_Local
Facebook: www.facebook.com/andilikelocal
Instagram: www.instagram.com/i_like_local

Vivid Gold
Vivid Gold provides gaming entertainment and experiences and interactive entertainment consultancy. It is a premier wholesale and retail trader of entertainment items in video games hardware, software and accessories.  Established in 2009, Vivid Gold targets customers that enjoy gaming as a form of entertainment and are mostly male, between 13  to 35 years, in low to middle income classes.

Website: www.vivagold.co.ke
Twitter: www.twitter.com/vivid_gold
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vividgoldltd
Instagram: www.instagram.com/vivid_gold

Peperuka weaves African stories and connects African cultures through unique products with powerful iconography and language. Founded in 2010, their products – apparel, accessories, home décor and gift items – are urban, contemporary and inspired by everyday life to start conversations and share ideas. They targets urban international shoppers who crave original, contemporary, quality, Afro-inspired everyday items that have a story.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/peperukaworld?lang=en
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Peperuka.World
Instagram: www.instagram.com/peperukaworld/?hl=en

Hoji is Swahili for question or interrogate, and that’s exactly the company’s promise. It uses mobile technology to help organisations obtain the answers they need to make smart, evidence-based decisions. The company was founded in 2015 with its target market being comprised of research companies, NGOs and governments.

Website: www.hoji.co.ke
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HojiLtd
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HojiLtd

In addressing the big need for financial services that target and uplift the lives of the low-income segment, meet Bluewave. Started in 2015, they offer micro-insurance solutions to the mass market that are affordable, efficient and easy to understand. Its target customers are the un-insured, low income earners.

Website: www.blue-wave.co.ke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Bluewave.Ins

Urban Coffee
Founded in March 2012 Urban Coffee creates places for people to meet,  connect, and unwind while indulging  in great coffee and a tasty range of traditional and contemporary cuisines in  a relaxed atmosphere. It currently has 2 outlets, at Lenana Place on Lenana Road, and at Capital Centre, on Mombasa Road.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/urbancoffeeKE
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbancoffeeKE

Mainstream Bookshop
Established in 2016, Mainstream Bookshop promotes a reading culture and enhances the learning and development experience schools. Through its bookshops, it sells a range of educational and recreational books to the local community, and also supplies study materials and stationery to a large and growing network of regional schools.

Website: www.mainstream.co.ke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/msbksm

Founded in 2008, Gambino bottling undertakes water purification and directly markets and distribute to customers for domestic and office use. It is known for its brand of purified water called Aqua drop with a product unit range of bottled water in 300ml, 500ml, 1 litre, 10 litres and 18.9 litres.


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