8 startups graduate the BongoHive Launch Accelerator

The ingredients for the launch accelerator are simple: great entrepreneurs with registered startups, experienced industry mentors, business development, legal and finance advice, and access to customers and desire to grow or scale up in and outside Zambia. But it takes more than that. It takes hard work and dedication to turn these ingredients into something tangible, especially in only three months.

Eight (8) start-ups graduated at the BongoHive Launch Accelerator 5th Demo night held on August 8th 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka. The Launch accelerator is a 12-week programme tailor-made for already launched start-ups that are looking to gain traction and scale up. Graduates of the program have received investment in excess of $500,000. The inaugural three-month Launch programme kicked off in January 2016.

“OUR ACCELERATOR PROGRAM CULMINATES WITH A DEMO NIGHT WHERE OUR START-UPS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS BY PRESENTING THEIR COMPANIES TO AN AUDIENCE, JUDGES AND INVESTORS FROM IN AND OUTSIDE LUSAKA,” SAID SIMUNZA MUYANGANA, BONGOHIVE CO-FOUNDER AND HEAD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

The judges for the 5th Launch accelerator demo night were: Monica Musonda of Java Foods, Jito Kayumba of Kukula Capital and Dayu Li of Genesis Energy Development.

The top 3 pitches of the night went to LCB moguls, Easycook and Creative interiors respectively. According to the feedback from the judges, Kreative Interiors presented a good business concept and understood their market well. Easycook was impressive due to the huge market for fast consuming foods in Zambia, convenience in solution. The judges felt it had a convenient and defensible solution. LCB moguls was picked top pitch for clarity, good governance, strong team, good understanding of market and for having a viable model. The judges urged the founders of LCB moguls to look into better understanding regulatory requirements and to also think of marketing themselves outside Zambia.

During the event, one of the judges, Jito Kayumba, managing Partner at Kukula Capital plc. Spoke of how he was impressed by the start-ups that graduated the programme:

“THESE ARE RELATIVELY YOUNG BUSINESSES BUT SOME OF THEM HAD VERY GOOD GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES. I LIKED THE PASSION FROM THE ENTREPRENEURS AND THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR VARIOUS MARKETS. AS A VENTURE CAPITALIST, IT’S EXCITING TO SEE THIS BECAUSE I KNOW IN A FEW YEARS I WILL HAVE GREAT BUSINESSES TO FUND,” SAID JITO KAYUMBA.

Overall, the panel of judges advised the entrepreneurs to be more specific with their business models, have strong minimum viable products to introduce to the market in exchange for money, and ensure revenue projections are accurate and feasible.

Defined as the ultimate event for start-up founders, investors, corporates and business mentors, this demo night was the 5th demo night BongoHive has hosted since the inception of the accelerator programme. The end of one batch also marks the beginning of another, and so we are already on the lookout for great entrepreneurs to early September 2017.

The 5th Launch accelerator start-ups:

1. Gamers Entertainment Meet (GEM) – promotes electronic sports by hosting promotional events and an eSports Gaming League.
Category: Media & Entertainment
Founders: Cholwe Shabukali, Musole Prince

2. LudoHub – is a gaming entertainment startup company located in the central district of Lusaka, Zambia. We believe that pc gaming is not just a source of entertainment; it is a highly educational.

Category: Media & Entertainment
Founders: Eddie Musabula, Lester Tembo, Kapaya Katongo

3. InspireMe Trading – EasyCook: brand of tasty and nutritious packaged traditional local foods like Katapa that can be cooked in 15 minutes and beans that can be cooked in 60 minutes or can be cooked conveniently in less than half the normal time. Vision is to keep Zambians healthy by reducing the time it takes for them to prepare the local food they love by 75%.
Category: Food Processing
Founder: Chiumphe Sara Lungu

4. Orbitrix Programming Solutions – OPS – offers solutions in the world of development and design of websites, web application’s, web services and android | IOS applications with key focus on inhouse products and services.
Category: Technology
Founders: Temani Chipego Lungu, Chimuka Moonde

5. Unforgettable Moments – Unforgettable Moments facilitates luxurious flower arrangements, romantic and appreciation gestures.
Category: Gifts
Founder: Natasha VanDerMaas

6. LCB Moguls – crowd Funding platform for Real Estate development. It focuses on industry inclusion. Real Estate an understood asset class by Zambian however the majority has been out priced by the capital requirements needed to participate.
Category: Real Estate/Crowd Funding
Founders: Lwanga C. Bwalya, Linda Shachinda, Sharon Mulenga

7. eMsika – eMsika provides easy, safe and convenient ways for farmers to buy agricultural inputs using Social media, phone calls and an ecommerce website.
Category: e-Commerce
Founder: Gilbert Mwale

8. Kreate Interiors – established in February 2017 as a response to the ever increasing demand for quality interior design services and the need for cost effective and time efficient design and fit services in Zambia.
Category: Home Improvement
Founder: Milambo Kabeleka

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Marc Mcilhone is AfricanBrains’ Editor – sourcing news and features content and overseeing the work of the site’s contributors. Marc’s work is informed by his technical background in architecture having worked for some of the UK’s leading practices on projects within the education, healthcare and housing sectors. Marc has a particular interest in how African innovators are creating sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.
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