Applications flood in for Cape tech fund

Kenya-based venture capital fund, 88mph, is expecting a flood of applications from South Africa-based tech start-ups looking for cash in the final week before the company’s 2012 deadline of 15 December.

88mph makes investments in early stage mobile-web companies targeting the African market, focusing purely on ideas with potential to scale across Africa.

The fund launched in Nairobi in 2010, having invested $180,000 in seven Kenyan firms before repeating the process again in August 2011.

The fund moved to Cape Town in November and 88mph programme manager, Sylvia Brune told BusinessTech that it has already received approximately 200 applications, led by individuals hoping to crack the e-commerce space.

Brune added that, from past experience, the bulk of the applications were still due come in during the last week.

Regarding the company’s name, in the cult sci-fi film, Back to the Future, the Delorean was required to reach a speed of 88mph before it could go back in time.

A successful pitch could see companies receive between $15,000 and $100,000, said Brune, adding that there was no fixed number of ideas the privately-funded accelerator would look to support.

As a percentage, of those ideas which had already been submitted, Brune said that between 5-10% showed “good potential”.

The program lead described Cape Town as being “a sponge for creative types,” while also describing South Africa’s tech market as “advanced” compared with other African markets.

Following the application deadline, teams will be chosen and notified on 15 January 2013, with the program set to start on 1 February 2013.

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Applications flood in for Cape tech fund