With just two weeks left to go until we close our applications portal for this year’s class, we’ve been impressed by the quality and diversity of the candidacies we’ve been seeing.
As far as African accelerators go, ALN Ventures has three key differentiating attributes that are resonating with entrepreneurs:
- We’re powered by the African Leadership Network, with all the financing and mentorship opportunities that this community brings to the table,
- We look beyond the tech/web & mobile spaces to all industrial categories, including capital-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, and
- We accept candidates from all over Africa
The last of these three is a uniquely exciting and (yes) challenging aspect of our work. The vision of our parent organization is to drive prosperity across all of Africa, which is why the ALN team have grown the ALN member base to include remarkable leaders from just about every African country. But the cultural, linguistic, and developmental diversity of the continent pose a unique communications challenge. Here’s a heatmap that shows where traffic to our website is coming from:
We’re thrilled to see so much interest from the “Big 3 Anglophone Countries,” namely South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya (with Ghana not far behind!). These are awesome markets teeming with entrepreneurial energy. But we’re also pleased by how much traction we’ve been getting in Francophone countries like Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon—where the support systems required to build a culture of entrepreneurship are still in their early days. We’ve been fortunate enough to get some cool media coverage in French (for example, over at StartupBRICS), and have francophone capabilities in our team. That said, we’d love to see more traction in “Lusophonia”, in particular Angola and Mozambique, as we draw our applications to a close.
Just like our sister organizations, including the much-acclaimed African Leadership Academy, we see the pan-African approach as an historic and crucial part of our DNA. And we’re counting on you to help us drive an inclusive, continental vision! So today we’re asking for your help: Do you know any entrepreneurs in some of the lower-traffic countries shown in the heatmap above? If so, we’d love to connect to chat to them about our program.