Is 2020 the year you finally get started on that business idea or take your business to the next level? We showcase some of the country’s biggest and best support organisations offering a wide range of acceleration, incubation and support services.
The support networks in this series are:
– Township Entrepreneurs Alliance
– AlphaCode Incubate
– Tshimologong Precinct
– Youth Ideas Development Tech Program
– Proudly South African
– Riversands Incubation Hub
AlphaCode is a club for fintech startup entrepreneurs, founded by Rand Merchant Investments Holdings (RMI) in 2015. AlphaCode’s goal is to find and back entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas that have the potential to transform the financial services sector.
The hub now houses over 700 members across all membership tiers. Its members include Livestock Wealth, Entersekt, Zande Africa and Merchant Capital.
Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode, shares how fintech entrepreneurs can become part of their organisation:
What kinds of businesses or sector does your programme target?
AlphaCode Incubate focuses only on financial services and fintech. We aim to find entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas that have the potential to transform the financial services sector. We offer:
1. To help to steer raw talent via our Explore programme where we provide data science fundamentals and the basic skill sets to build an exponential business.
2. Our Incubate programme, which provides a mentor-based entrepreneurial package of up to R2 million (which includes R1 million in grant funding) to support early-stage businesses.
3. The Accelerate programme, which is aimed at equipping scale-up businesses. We also provide a full hybrid of support in addition to these programmes providing mentorship, facilitated introductions to the RMI portfolio businesses, equity and debt funding.
AlphaCode Explore, a 12-month programme offering foundational data science skills and business pre-incubation; AlphaCode Incubate, aimed at early stage businesses or ideas; AlphaCode Accelerate which empowers businesses through expert mentorship, development workshops and access to support services; AlphaCode Collaborate which enables businesses to collaborate with and genuinely innovate at one of the companies within the RMI portfolio; and AlphaCode Invest which enables founders to grow their business with equity investment from RMI.
What are some of the resources that they have access to as part of AlphaCode Incubate programme?
– Premium co-working office space in Sandton.
– An extraordinary community of entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and financial services experts.
– Original thought-leadership on the future of financial services.
– Engaging events, networking with peers and connection to people in our group companies.
What costs are involved for the entrepreneur?
All support is offered at no charge to the entrepreneurs.
What is the duration of the programme?
– AlphaCode Explore and AlphaCode Incubate are 12-month, full-time programmes.
– AlphaCode Accelerate is a two-year, part-time programme.
What can the entrepreneur expect to gain from the programme?
We help fintech entrepreneurs clarify their business concept, to gain traction and to significantly scale their businesses.
Are there any case studies you would like to share with our readers?
AlphaCode Incubate journey with Zande Africa began in 2016 when it won R1m in the precursor the AlphaCode Incubate programme. Last year it joined AlphaCode Accelerate and this year AlphaCode granted Zande Africa an R11 million supplier development loan.
Zande Africa started in 2016 with two founders, Siya Ntutela and Mdu Thabethe. The business provides trade and merchant finance to spaza shops to enable stock purchases. It has a turnover of R17 million with 71 staff and it is about to open the Zande Spaza Hypermarket in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, after growing its operations in Nelspruit and Ermelo.
Ntutela, CEO of Zande Africa, is using the loan for working capital to set up the spaza hyper and to improve his technology platform.
Ntutela of Zande explains: “In 2016 AlphaCode awarded us R1 million in a pitch competition and we now hope to grow the investment case for our business.
“Having succeeded in this fundraise, after going through RMI’s rigorous commercial and legal due diligence process, we believe we’re well on the way to having an even more compelling case.”
What is the best way that they can approach your organisation?
Follow AlphaCode on social media – we alert entrepreneurs when applications open for one of our programmes:
Or sign up for our newsletter: www.alphacode.club