What is DealWeek?
DealWeek is a week long full-time event where 88mph and entrepreneur-investors will evaluate your startup and potentially make an investment offer.
During the week, you provide information on your startup, seek advice, and negotiate investment terms with all the investors present. By the end of the week, you will know whether your startup will receive an investment offer and will spend the following week completing legal work, and arranging regular feedback and update meetings with your new investors.
Why should I apply to 88mph DealWeek Cape Town 2015?
If you are a startup with a mobile product or service targeting African markets, chances are you won’t find a better way to fund your company. Besides the 88mph team, we have gathered a group of investors, all of whom have experience starting, building, and growing web/mobile businesses.
We believe this model is especially well-suited to startups that already have a team of employees, some paying customers, and daily operations that are difficult to put on hold for a full 3 months. We have also noted in years past, that many of the best startups a.) need individual approaches to advice and funding that the accelerator model doesn’t always cater to, and b.) are very good at reaching out when they need help. These experiences, and more, have led to us testing this new model.
Raising funds for your startup is generally an unproductive time for most startups, and can take many months. Our thought behind DealWeek is to speed up that process so you can get back to building your business as soon as possible.
How will it work?
Applications are open from January 5th – February 8th.
You have to apply before the deadline to be considered for DealWeek.
If we like your application, you will be invited to a short interview at the Cape Town Garage during February 9th – 15th. If the interview is successful, you will be notified latest February 15th and you will need to be present fulltime during the entirety of DealWeek, which runs February 16th – 22nd.
During DealWeek, 88mph and the Investors will:
Perform a standard due diligence – using 88mph’s DD checklist
Explore the different aspects of your product, business, and market – using the Lean Canvas
Ensure your management accounts and reporting practices are in order to receive an investment.
Will investment terms be negotiable?
Yes. That’s what the week is about.
How do I prepare an application?
We accept applications online. You can apply here.
Here are the 17 questions you will be asked on our application form. You will also have the possibility to submit a video, and attach any documents you think are relevant.
Is there anything in particular you look for in a startup?
We have received hundreds of applications so far; the ones that have stood out, have:
- Described the relevant backgrounds of all founders, and how they compliment each other
- Convinced us that there is a sizeable market for their product/service
- Indicated that they understand this market
- Noted what they’ve done so far to build the product and attract users, including the things that have failed
- Shown that they are hungry
- More detail here
I don’t live in Cape Town, can I still apply?
Yes. We aim to attract applicants from all over Africa. See FAQs for international applicants below.
Do we have to be physically present for an interview?
We have accepted skype/hangout interviews in the past, but to date, have not made an investment where the startup chose to use this format. And only once, where one of the founders had to call in for the interview.
Do you invest in social entrepreneurs?
We invest in startups that can scale. We don’t put entrepreneurs in categories. Entrepreneurs are people who want to create something new and in doing so, create competition, jobs, better products for consumers, and ultimately a profit. Companies without profits find it difficult to scale.
I have a job and am doing my startup on the side. Can I keep my job if get accepted?
No. Only in extreme cases will we accept startups that don’t have all founders working fulltime on the startup. It requires full focus and commitment to create a successful business.
What if I have an idea, but no team?
We very rarely invest in one-man shows so we definitely encourage you to find and build a team before applying.
What if I fail?
We invest 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 stage.
Can I apply if I have funding already?
Yes. If you need extra funding, or think you could benefit from the experience of 88mph team and the entrepreneur-investors have to offer, you are welcome to apply.
What do you invest in?
Our focus is purely businesses that scale well through web/mobile and target African markets.
Do you give grants?
No. If investors don’t get any equity, there is no incentive for them to help you succeed and no business model that makes investing in risky businesses sustainable in the long-term.
What happens after DealWeek?
If you receive an investment during DealWeek, we will expect you to provide regular updates, as one would with any investors. Beyond that, it will be up to the startups to reach out to 88mph and the DealWeek Investors to request support when and how they see fit. Building a company takes many years, so while investors are important sources of advice and network, ultimately it’s the founders that will make the bulk of decisions and organize operations.
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.
How can I invest?
If you have previously started a successful company, and would like to join the DealWeek Investor team, you can write to sb at 88mph dot ac. If you are an investor that would like information about 88mph or the startups we have invested in, you can contact us by filling out this contact form on the website.
How can I mentor or work with 88mph or its startups?
We find most of the people we work with via referral or at our events and, occasionally, twitter.
I would like to bring my MBA class to visit 88mph
While DealWeek is on going we don’t have the bandwidth to accommodate visitors who are not directly involved. If you’d like to visit one of the Startup Garages outside of the 3-month programs, please contact them directly.
I would like to partner with 88mph
We are approached by many organizations and companies that would like to partner with 88mph, and try to make room for all serious requests. A request is serious if it can help the startups in one way or another, has the intention to a commit money, time or equivalent, and intends to get something in return for the commitment. We never partner, just to partner.
FAQS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
Do I need a Visa?
Please check with the relevant embassy in your country for the latest information.
What is the business language?
Our locations across Africa are home to a plethora of official languages, but in each place English is the most prevalent.
Will 88mph cover startups travel and accommodation?
It is expected that the startups cover their own travel & accommodation costs.
I have more questions. Who can I contact?