Description: XL Africa is a five-month post-accelerator program designed to support the 20 most promising digital ‘scale-ups’ from across Africa. The program is commissioned by the World Bank and implemented by VC4A, IMC Worldwide and Koltai&Co.
The aim of XL Africa is to realize the growth potential of Africa’s top ventures, to take 20 digital scale-ups and to position them for international expansion. Selected entrepreneurs will receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. With support from prominent African investment groups, XL Africa helps the 20-selected companies position for growth and connects them with early stage capital between $250,000 and $1.5 million.
VC4A role and results: VC4A is a key contributor to the overall program design and framework and is involved hands-on through all stages of implementation. VC4A’s specific areas of responsibility are program communications, promo campaign management and startup recruitment, technical platform provision, review and selection, corporate and investor partnerships and mentor recruitment. Additionally, VC4A is the facilitator of the final event in Cape Town (the XL Africa Venture Showcase) in conjunction with the African Angel Investor Summit (co-organized by VC4A and ABAN).
UPDATE: XL Africa has been awarded with the World Bank ‘President’s Award for Excellence’ in June 2018. This award recognizes and rewards teams for supporting the Maximizing Finance for Development approach, exceeding the expectations of the job, demonstrating WBG collaboration, and/or exhibiting exceptional leadership:
“XL Africa set out to prove that African digital entrepreneurs can be globally competitive. The result was a portfolio of 20 highly investable digital start-ups that are disrupting traditional industries and business models in sub-Saharan Africa.”
UPDATE 2: In November 2018 the World Bank Group announced L’Afrique Excelle, a six-month business acceleration program designed to support the 20 most promising growth stage technology start-ups operating in Francophone Africa. L’Afrique Excelle is powered by the World Bank Group and Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Center with financial assistance from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and managed by implementing partners VC4A, Suguba and SahelInnov. More information.