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World Bank XL Africa Business Acceleration Program for Start-ups 2017

World Bank XL Africa Business Acceleration Program for Start-ups 2017

Deadline: June 12, 2017

Applications are ongoing for the XL Africa Business Acceleration Program 2017. XL Africa is looking for 20 high-growth digital startups seeking to raise between $250K and $1.5M in funding. They can help with access to funding, networks, mentoring and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs in the form of the following: They will help your company access capital, expand market share, and refine its business model through tailored mentorship, coaching, and networking opportunities.

If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to:

  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over five months. Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, XL Africa expects these relationships to last long after the program has ended.
  • Over 5 months, participate in four virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Participate in the residential program in South Africa for two weeks in November 2017.
  • Engage with 19 other African enterprises, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
  • Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate.

XL Africa is supported by the World Bank Groups’ Infodev, with financial assistance from  the Governments of Finland, Norway and Sweden and managed by implementing partners IMC Worldwide, VC4Africa and Koltai & Co.


  • Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
  • Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs.
  • The opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.


  • Your startup is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people;
  • Your team is based in one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • You have a very strong management team;
  • You have a digital product or service available on the market right now, with demonstrated tangible traction and evidence of revenue;
  • You have potential to achieve scale;
  • You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $1.5m;
  • While there will be exceptions, mostly likely your startup has already received investment capital, structured as either debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations.

Selection Process

To select the top 20 start-ups, they will consider:

  • Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%)
    Your company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital solution is different to others in the industry. Your product or service is catalyzing social change.
  • Strategy for Growth (25%)
    There is potential to expand into new markets or expand at home. We can see demonstrable progress, and your startup is scalable.
  • Management (25%)
    The team have the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
  • Market Traction & Financials (25%)
    We will evaluate your market traction and look at the potential market size. We’ll also look at your business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.

Application Process

Begin your application here if you are eligible and interested!

For more informmation, visit XL Africa Business Acceleration Program.

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