The 25 businesses that will participate in the year-long program that Grindstone, a South African accelerator, will run in cohorts in Cape Town and Johannesburg, have been revealed.
Grindstone Accelerator is a structured entrepreneurial development program that helps innovation-driven businesses generate fast growth. It is jointly owned by Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting. The initiative gives companies priority access to information, contacts, capital, and markets.
The chosen firms will have their strategy thoroughly reviewed during the program, and they will receive mentoring from top international resources, including some Grindstone alumni businesses that have successfully expanded their operations in the past.
“This announcement celebrates an ecosystem effort, as many individuals have been involved at some stage of these entrepreneurs’ journeys. I’ve directly worked with many of these founders for over two years and will continue to do so,” said Grindstone programme director, Will Green.
“2022 marks nine years of engineering growth for innovative founders and their scale-ups. To date, this will bring the tally of companies we have directly assisted to 115. This cohort is our largest with a total of 25 companies, 14 from Gauteng, 10 from the Western Cape and one from Kwazulu-Natal.”
Ollie App, which offers mental health credits for remote teams, Botlhale AI, which offers a text- and speech-based toolkit for developing conversational AI in African languages, 123 tutors, an online peer-to-peer learning platform, Upstream Money, a machine-learning consulting company that uses AI to help clients make better decisions, and payments platform Sticitt are among the 25 companies that were chosen.
Beeline Learn, a science-backed learning platform created to remove obstacles to effective learning and help people achieve their learning goals, LawyeredUp, a legal consultancy firm looking to revolutionize legal in technology, AfricaInc, a “always learning” media company that provides business owners and leaders with everything they need to launch, run, and grow a successful business in Africa, Fleet IT, and Deep Learning Café were also chosen.
There are yet more in the form of Cartrun, an app for groceries delivery that employs a dark-store online retail concept; Level Finance, an on-demand payment platform that gives employees access to a portion of their earnings, Dark Pools, a company that creates machine learning-driven applications, Popping, a platform for booking pop-up markets for small businesses, and Creditais, a company that uses alternative data and machine learning to accurately score first-time borrowers’ credit.
A reversed automotive marketplace powered by AI and conversation, Virtual Drive, insurtech company Sugar, and Ama Room, a mobile property app aimed at township backrooms, round out the list. Blankett Tech is an interactive digital bookshop and e-library.