I don't live near a program city, can I still apply?
Yes, we encourage applications from all over the world. The African market offers great opportunities for talented entrepreneurs.
What do you look for?
Teams of 2-4 people who are 100% dedicated to building a product for the African market that can scale and, over time, be profitable.
Do I need to be a social entrepreneur?
We don’t put entrepreneurs in categories. Entrepreneurs are people who want to create something new and in doing so, create competition, jobs, and better products for consumers.
I have a job and am doing my startup on the side. Can I keep my job if get accepted?
Only in extreme cases will we accept startups that don't have all the founders present during the program. Building a startup is a team effort which requires full focus and commitment.
Can I apply if I don't have a startup?
Yes. You can apply without an idea or a team. We will try to match up people and ideas to create strong teams out of the applicants we see. We might find a team that lacks exactly the skills you have.
What if I have an idea, but no team?
You can apply and let us try to help you find a co-founder as we do various co-founder matching events and advertise positions to other would-be entrepreneurs in our network. Ultimately, we don't invest in one-man shows so we definitely encourage you to find and build a team before applying.
What if I fail?
88mph invests against equity in your startup, so you are not liable in any way if you should fail.
Do you expect a certain return on investment within a set timeframe?
No. We don’t set a specific target or time frame at this early stage.
Can I apply if I have funding already?
Yes. Many startups use acceleration programs to gain networks, exposure and mentorship. In many cases these can be more important than capital.
What do you invest in?
Our focus is purely businesses that scale well through web/mobile.
Do you give grants?
No. If 88mph doesn't get any equity, there is no incentive for us to help you succeed and no business model that makes this initiative sustainable in the long-term.
What happens after the program?
We will continue to work and support the startups after the program. Based on how we evaluate each startup's progress during the program, we may be able to offer free office space and the fund may also be able to come up with additional funding.
Do you do follow up funding?
In some cases we may decide to follow up on our initial investment through the fund. However, typically the next round of funding will be of interest to other types of funds than ours. In those cases, we introduce the startups to our network of funds for further funding possibilities.
Do you sign NDAs?
No. We see a lot of ideas and we don't want to get into legal trouble. Odds are that you are not the only one with that idea and someone else might pitch the same (or similar) idea with a stronger team. Or maybe you pitch something that is very close to something we are already working on.
Do the startups get free office space during the program?
Yes. We host all the startups we invest in, at 88mph Garages in Nairobi & Cape Town.
Are the investment terms flexible?
No. For us to be able to do this many investments, we can’t have flexible terms - apart from the actual % equity we ask for, which will vary across startups. That percentage will depend on your team and your progress so far.
What support do you offer in the 88mph Garage?
We have accountants, admin, finance, legal, tech support, baristas, and cleaning staff in 88mph Garages who are there solely to help you succeed. If there is something a startup needs, but we don't have, we will work to get it.
Can I quit the program before the 3 months are over?
It is your choice to leave it if you want however the investment is tied to your completion the program and you will not receive the full investment if you do not complete the program.
When is the program opening - is it ongoing?
Each program runs for 3 months only. You have to apply before the application deadline to be considered for funding. Only companies that receive funding can join the program. You can see on the front page of 88mph.ac if applications are still open; go under 'Key Dates'. Normally, applications open 2 months before each program starts. You will be notified minimum 10 days before the beginning of the program if you are offered funding and are invited to join the program.
How can I become an investor?
If you are interested in investing, come to our demo day at the end of the program, or come see our teams during the program. Please send an email to Jennifer Browarczyk firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify which companies you have already invested in, if any.
How can I become mentor?
If you would like to mentor startups during the 88mph program, feel free to contact email@example.com. Would be great if you can drop us a line about yourself, why you want to mentor, or include links to stuff you’ve done or are doing now so we can see what type of mentorship you can offer the startups.
Do I need a Visa for Kenya?
You will need a 3-month 'Single Entry' visa. You will be required to fill out a form at arrival at the airport and pay $50 or alternatively apply at your nearest embassy prior to leaving for Kenya, though this takes some time. Some nationalities are exempt from obtaining a visa - those of East Africa and other small African nations, for example - you should check with your embassy for the latest information.
What is the business language in Kenya?
The primary language is English.
Is accommodation covered by 88mph?
It is expected that the startups cover their own accommodation costs.
Is Nairobi Safe?
It's much safer than people generally think. If you stick to the rules and stay away from certain areas of town at night, you should be just fine.
Is life expensive in Nairobi?
Living costs in Nairobi are higher than you may think, though there are many cheap options so it depends on the type of lifestyle you wish to live whilst you are there.
I have more questions. Who can I contact?
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org