The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation has launched its alumni engagement programme for 2019/2020. With support from the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund, the Prize is offering several exciting, competitive opportunities to its 72 alumni businesses, who operate in 13 countries across Africa.

The opportunities available now and coming soon are listed below.

Please note that these opportunities are only avaialble to alumni of the Africa Prize.

Click on each one to find out more information:

 

Small business grants – closed - outcome due by early March

These are competitive business grants available to the value of £10,000 and £15,000. In your application you must demonstrate what you intend to do with the grant and how it will help your business.

Successful applications will be chosen by a reviewing panel. You will be required to submit a report at the end, demonstrating how the funds were used and what the outcomes were.

All projects must start before 31 March 2020, and end before 30 September 2020.

Please note you may apply for grants, service delivery, travel funding and internships, but you will need to submit separate applications for each.

Key questions in the application form will include:
  • General question: Please provide a brief update on your business achievements over the last one year to six months, including any milestones reached.
  • Why are you applying for the grant?
  • What are the main goals and objectives you hope to achieve with this grant?
  • What activities, tasks or projects will you be able to carry out with this grant?
  • What are the risks involved and how will you overcome them?
  • What is the budget breakdown?

Access to experts for service delivery – closed - outcome due by early March

Do you need help with your communications strategy? Are you entering a new partnership and need a lawyer to look over the contract? Do you need to know how to value your business? Do you want to know how to use social media to reach a new customer segment? Are you ready to grow your team but don’t know what roles to add, or how to hire them?

Apply for access to experts to provide support on all of these questions, and many more. Successful applicants will be matched with a service provider who can address their needs. The Academy will pay the service provider directly for their time.

There is a limit on the number of hours we will pay per applicant, so this is for alumni who are looking for support on short projects/tasks with direct outcomes, not those looking for long-term support.

In your application you may suggest the name of a service provider from within your network who you would like to work with. If you don't not suggest someone, the Academy will match you with someone from its network.

Please note you may apply for grants, service delivery, travel funding and internships, but you will need to submit separate applications for each.

 

Key questions in the application form will include:
  • General question: Please provide a brief update on your business achievements over the last one year to six months, including any milestones reached.
  • In which area do you need support? (For example: communications, social media, finance, HR, legal.)
  • Why are you applying for support?
  • What are the main goals and objectives you hope to achieve for your business through this support? 
  • What activities, tasks or projects will you be able to carry out with this support?
  • What activities have you conducted in this area (e.g. communications) in the last six months? What was the motivation? How did it impact your business?
  • Do you have a service provider you would like to work with? Please give their details.

Funding for travel to conferences or trainings – open now, closing on 2 March

Have you been invited to another country to demonstrate your innovation to a potential investor but you couldn’t cover the flights and accommodation? Do you want to attend a trade exhibition or conference where relevant stakeholders will be, but the ticket is too expensive? Are you looking for training on a particular area so you can improve your business skills, but can’t justify the cost?

Apply for a travel or training grant, up to a maximum value of £5,000. You must be able to demonstrate the purpose and value to your business and provide an invitation/acceptance letter, as well as the costs required for the trip or training.

Applications for travel and training will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

Please note you may apply for grants, service delivery, travel funding and internships, but you will need to submit separate applications for each.

 

Key questions in the application form will include:
  • General question: Please provide a brief update on your business achievements over the last one year to six months, including any milestones reached.
  • Please provide the details (name, location, date, main purpose) of the training course, conference, meeting or event you would like to attend.
  • What is your involvement in the event, meeting or training course? For example: speaking on a panel, exhibiting your innovation, meeting with new investors.
  • What are your main objectives, both short-term and long-term, in attending this event, conference or training?
  • What is the exact breakdown for the amount requested? For example: demonstrate the cost of flights, accommadation and visa; conference ticket or training course fees.

Investor Readiness and Exposure - closed

Investor Readiness and Exposure, a Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize Alumni Programme, Powered by Intellecap.

This investment readiness and investor exposure programme for Africa Prize Alumni, will help early stage enterprises maximise their investment potential. Enterprises selected for the programme will go through an investment readiness capacity building programme for a period of up to four months, as well as gain exposure to relevant investors from around the world.

Additionally, participating enterprises may be assisted through a process of investment negotiations with interested investors, after the training.

The programme works with alumni companies within Africa that are:

  • In high-impact sectors, including but not limited to: agriculture, education, clean energy, healthcare, financial inclusion, livelihoods, technology and skills development, water and sanitation
  • Have an experienced and dedicated founding team
  • Have a clear for-profit business model with high potential for scale
  • Have some proof of concept on the ground, and are preferably generating revenues
  • Are looking to raise investment in the range of USD $50K to $1M

The programme includes an investment readiness bootcamp, exposure to investors through pitching and involvement at Sankalp Africa, and support following-up with investors.

Please note you cannot participate in this programme and Scale Up Africa, although you may apply for both, and then choose which you would like to join if accepted for both.

Selected alumni have been invited by email to apply for this programme. Applications will close on 6 January.


Scale Up Africa - closed

Scale Up Africa, a Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize Alumni Programme, Powered by Nest.

Ready to go global? Want to explore the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia? Want to access multinational clients? Designed for Africa Prize alumni targeting rapid-growth, the Scale Up Africa programme brings you the skills, mentorship and networks you need to achieve the extraordinary. 

As entrepreneurs, we understand that starting a business is hard, but growing one is even harder. That’s why the Scale Up Africa programme will help you tackle the main growth-stage challenges - landing more and bigger customers, scaling to new markets, and finding partners and securing investment. 

Benefit from the dedicated support of leading Asian market experts, local corporate leaders and tailored guidance from our experienced startup coaches; participate in growth-hacking workshops and ecosystem events; connect to the most active VC’s, family offices and angel investors.

What to expect:

  • The 12 week programme comprises two trips to deliver interactive seminars and pre-aligned meetings, with the goal of landing new business and investment - first to Bangkok and then Nairobi. 
  • Explore the high-growth markets of Southeast Asia, with a two-week bootcamp based in Bangkok. Topics include: attracting impact investment, new market validation and 1:1 deep dives for commercial business development.
  • Access a global network of investors, corporate clients and partners, and discuss 1:1 opportunities to accelerate your business and scale throughout the Southeast Asian economies.
  • Participate in investor speed dating in Nairobi, to access leading institutional and family office investors in the startup ecosystem. 
  • Guidance and advice from leading entrepreneurs and industry veterans as mentors.

Please note you cannot participate in this programme and Investor readiness and exposure, although you may apply for both, and then choose which you would like to join if accepted for both.

Selected alumni have been invited by email to apply for this programme. Applications will close on 6 January.


Webinars – available for all, dates coming soon

A number of webinars will be available for all alumni to attend. These will all be recorded and available for you to listen later. if you missed them. Dates will be announced soon, with topics to include:

  • How to scale your startup in Asia
  • How to use social media to raise your profile
  • How to create a pitch deck