KCIC clients to begin acceleration program and mentorship
On 1 February 2019, KCIC will be celebrating not one but two exciting moments: 17 KCIC clients will be graduating from the incubation program into acceleration, and a new cohort of 30 clients will be starting mentorship. These are programs to help our enterprises further expand their businesses.
Incubation v. Acceleration Programs
In many ways, the growth of a startup is similar to a baby learning to walk. At incubation centers such as KCIC, we help “baby” businesses go from being held to learning to crawl and then eventually walking upright on their own. Recognizing that startups at these different stages of development require different forms of support, KCIC divided its services into “incubation” and “acceleration.”
Clients at the incubation level are typically at the pre-revenue stage. While they have surpassed ideation- that is, they have already solidified their business idea-, they may still require assistance in finalizing their prototype or reaching validation. After a year in the incubator program, if a client has developed a product, validated their market, and begun to earn revenues, then they are qualified to graduate to the accelerator.
In the acceleration program, clients spend 8-10 months receiving support on obtaining investments and achieving more growth. Specifically, they undertake an investment readiness program to prepare them for pitching to outside investors. Furthermore, at this stage they are eligible for more internal funds from KCIC, like Early Stage Investment.
Profile of clients graduating to the acceleration program
In total, 17 clients from the incubation program will be joining acceleration. The enterprises come from all 3 of our thematic areas (agribusiness, water management, and renewable energy). Some of the enterprises include:
- Kikai Foods, who solar dries fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted in the agricultural chain
- Ujuzi Kilimo, who sells sensors to monitor soil nutrient levels
- LeJan Energy, who manufactures briquettes out of sawdust
- NutriFresh Farm and Agri-Hub, who makes water harvesting installations for farmers
Notably, almost half of the acceleration clients are women-run enterprises.
New cohort enters mentorship program
Clients of both incubation and acceleration are also able to participate in our mentorship program. The service is offered in partnership with Capital Strategies, who has a pool of mentors with whom clients can be partnered depending on their necessities and any gaps they are experiencing. They are especially of help when it comes to technical advisory, as they can assist clients who need support in areas such as engineering. The clients are also provided with business advisory to further help them grow.
The mentorship program lasts for 8 months and is offered in conjunction with the rest of the services that KCIC offers. It consists of individual meetings, group sessions, and peer-to-peer learning so that clients can also gain insight from one another. 30 clients will be participating in the next mentorship program- the majority of whom will also be in the accelerator group.
KCIC is excited to see its clients growing. Through graduation into the acceleration program as well as mentorship, KCIC is committed to helping them further upscale their businesses.
By: Alise Brillault