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5 African Cohort-based Programs for Start-ups

Cohort programs tend to have groups of people banded together due to a shared, common characteristic, and regarded as a unit or classmates. Usually, they work together and strive towards the same goal within a set time.

In the African start-up ecosystem (and across other ecosystems globally), cohort-based programs boast African founders with a purpose to grow and scale up within a specific period.

The founders enjoy face-to-face lessons, build on their knowledge on how to improve upon their business ideas, meet like-minded founders and make important connections, increase their networks and are open to new opportunities that may spring up from such programs.

Here is a list of five African, cohort-based programs catering to founders and their start-ups.

1. GetfundedAfrica Investor-readiness Cohort Program

First is GetFundedAfrica, a tech-enabled marketplace which matches start-ups, investors (VCs & Angels), corporates & governments to improve and strengthen the African start-up ecosystem. It is one of the few non-accelerators on this list.

Launched in February 2020, it uses education, fundraising and technology services to enable African start-ups to grow and scale. The cohort-based program is one of its educational services.

Where: Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

When: Bi-annually

Duration: 12 weeks

Goal: Fundraising, knowledge, resources

For more information, visit:

2. The Baobab Network (TBN)

Next is The Baobab Network which has been featured in an earlier post about accelerators in Africa improving the continent’s start-up system. It is a technology accelerator which is investing in the next crop of African tech entrepreneurs and, for the last six years, has continued to empower early-stage tech start-ups in Africa.

The Baobab Network runs a world-class accelerator program supporting Africa’s innovators to scale homegrown solutions.

Where: Nairobi, Kenya

When: Quarterly

Duration: Three months

Goal: Fundraising, platform to go global

For more information, visit:

3. Telecel Group Africa Start-up Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program

Moh Damush, Group CEO of Telecel, founded the third cohort program, ASIP, to support and add value to young start-ups making an impact in their communities, and contributing to the growth of the African continent. It was launched in 2017.

Where: Senegal, Dakar

When: Annually

Duration: Three months

Goal: knowledge and financial support

For more information, visit:

4. Grindstone Accelerator Program

Jointly owned by Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting, and supported by the SA SME Fund, Grindstone assists high-growth, innovation-driven tech start-ups to become more investable, sustainable and exit-ready. It helps grow the start-up ecosystem and the economy at large.

Where: Cape Town & Johannesburg, South African

When: Annually

Duration: 12 months

Goal: Access to knowledge, funding, networks, markets

For more information, visit:

5. Adanian Labs Venture Building Program

And rounding off is Adanian Labs. Founded in January 2020 and referred to as the “start-up that builds start-ups.” It is a first-of-its-kind venture studio in Africa, on a mission to build 300 impact-driven tech start-ups that are commercially viable and positioned to accelerate the growth of African economies.

Where: Various locations across Africa – Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria & Kenya

When: Annually

Duration: 12 months

Goal: To create CAMELS (strong, resilient companies, entrepreneurs, and youth capable of sustaining African economies even with limited resources).

For more information, visit:

About GetFundedAfrica

GetFundedAfrica is a tech-enabled marketplace matching start-ups, investors (venture capitals & angels), corporates and governments to improve and strengthen the African start-up ecosystem.

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