Tuesday, May 14, 2013

88mph opens applications in Nairobi
08.05.2013, Nairobi, Kenya

88mph, an early stage startup fund and 3 month accelerator program has opened applications for Nairobi. The program assists start-ups by giving them investment of up to a 100k, access to business networks and the know how to quickly grow their businesses. 88mph’s strategy in Africa is to fund strong teams and web-mobile ideas that have the ability to scale across English speaking Africa.

“There’s an immense opportunity to build mobile/web startups in Nairobi right now. African Mobile/web is hands down one of the fastest growing markets in the world and we want to reach out to entrepreneurs who build products and services for hundreds of million mobile/web users that are rapidly popping up on the continent,” says 88mph Program Director Nikolai Barnwell.

Barnwell continues,“Unfortunately, the natural course of a startup is to die before succeeding. But we provide the funding and the infrastructure to boost the odds of survival and we now want to look for the next batch of future successful entrepreneurs.”

That’s why, in addition to funding, the 88mph team in Nairobi has put together talent and resources, to add more value for the startups:
  • A partnership with Google has enabled the right space and internet resources to build tech companies, as well as access to Google’s experienced web professionals who can mentor the startups.
  • A host of highly experienced local Kenyans and global mentors have been added to the already top-notch 88mph mentor network.
  • Furthermore, “Entrepreneurs-in-residence” – experienced entrepreneurs, specialized in sales, programming & web design - are being brought in from across the world to work side by side with the local startups during the 3-month acceleration.
  • Finally, 88mph arranges a demo day, where the startups will get access to a group of investors and showcase what they’ve achieved so far.

Last year 88mph invested in 6 web-mobile startups in Nairobi. The 3-month program to accelerate the growth of the startups in Nairobi last year has reaped great rewards for the start-ups, with one startup with confirmed follow on funding and another two that are in final discussions. This will allow them to be able to scale their businesses across Africa successfully.

‘I've seen a wealth of talent infused in Nairobi within the past couple of years," says Carey Eaton, co-Founder, One Africa Media and CEO, Cheki Africa Media."88mph and the ecosystem brewing here are making a very significant contribution to building technology companies in the region to another level, building the next great wave of web and mobile businesses that solve African problems. I'm looking forward to following these startups closely throughout the program."

The speed at which the mobile internet has reached the markets of Africa, now at 274 million Africans on Edge or 3G, has created a huge demand for local applications and services catering to the young and growing middle classes of Africa. 88mph is here to fund start-ups wishing to grab a portion of this growing market. So far, they have invested over $750,000 into 23 early stage start-ups.

The combination of a large market, young population and opportunities within the mobile/web industry makes this accelerator attractive to any tech entrepreneurs who are looking to solve real challenges in Africa.

"Looking 2-5 years ahead, the US and Europe will be stagnating at best. I think the biggest opportunities for return on investment will be in Africa and other emerging markets. Our accelerator program is a great opportunity for international tech entrepreneurs and returning diaspora to come, take advantage of the insane growth here, and work on solving some really interesting problems," concludes Barnwell.

Additional Information:

• Application deadline is midnight July 15th, 2013

• Startups can apply now on 88mph.ac

• 88mph invests up to $100k per startup

• Equity will depend on the startup company valuations, which could range from $100k to $1mil

• Altogether 8 - 15 teams will receive an investment and get accepted into the 3-month program

• The teams will be notiļ¬ed if they have been accepted to the program by August 1st, 2013

• Program starts on August 26th at the 88mph Garage in Narobi, Kenya

• Startups in the program will have access to tech hubs in Cape Town, as well as to 88mph's partner tech hubs across Africa

DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions - Enabling Materials during Africa Utility Week

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 13, 2013 – DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions (DuPont) will be exhibiting at African Utility Week 2013, May 14 – 15 in Cape Town, South Africa, showcasing technologies designed to improve the efficiency and lifetime of solar panels and lower overall system costs.  Dr. Stephan Padlewski, marketing manager for the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region also will be a featured speaker at the co-located Clean Power Africa Conference on Wednesday, May 15th, emphasizing the importance of materials to help ensure long term reliability, a lower levelized cost of electricity and improved investment returns for solar energy systems.  Visitors to the show can visit DuPont in Hall 1, booth S02.
            “It is not enough to know who makes the solar panels you buy, you have to know what is in them to understand if they will deliver the required power output over their expected 25 year lifespan,” said Padlewski.  “One of the key challenges for the solar industry is how to lower overall system costs to make solar energy more competitive with other power sources, without compromising performance.  This is where materials matter - they have a major impact on system performance and return on investments solar.”
DuPont will highlight key materials, including:
  • DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes, that have doubled solar cell efficiency over the last 12 years.
  • DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) films that provide 30 years of proven durability and reliability for solar panels exposed to the harshest outdoor conditions.
  • Lightweight photovoltaic system solutions that are lightweight and easy to install, designed to reduce balance of system costs.
DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions is the leading global supplier of specialty materials to the photovoltaic industry.  To learn more, please visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.