Eight Zambian startups have graduated from the BongoHive Launch accelerator after pitching at a demo day held in Lusaka.
The Launch accelerator is a 12-week programme developed for startups looking to gain traction and scale up, with graduates of the programme having received investment in excess of US$500,000.
“Our accelerator programme culminates with a demo night where our startups have the opportunity to share their accomplishments by presenting their companies to an audience, judges and investors from in and outside Lusaka,” said Simunza Muyangana, BongoHive co-founder and head of entrepreneurship.
The eight startups taking part in the programme were gaming startups LudoHub and Gamers Entertainment Meet (GEM), food startup InspireMe Trading, development and design startup Orbitrix Programming Solutions, flowers company Unforgettable Moments, real estate crowdfunding startup LCB Moguls, agri-tech startup eMsika, and interior design company Kreate Interiors.
The judges for the fifth Launch accelerator demo night were Monica Musonda of Java Foods, Jito Kayumba of Kukula Capital and Dayu Li of Genesis Energy Development, who between the decreed that LCB Moguls, Inspire Me and Kreate Interiors were the top three participants.
Kayumba said he was impressed by the quality of the startups that graduated from the programme.
“These are relatively young businesses but some of them had very good governance structures. I liked the passion from the entrepreneurs and their understanding of their various markets. As a venture capitalist, it’s exciting to see this because I know in a few years I will have great businesses to fund,” he said.
Overall, the panel of judges advised the entrepreneurs to be more specific with their business models, have strong minimum viable products, and ensure revenue projections are accurate and feasible.