Accelerator programs provide an environment, meant to help startups thrive in a network of like-minded people who share a passion of building a business. Y Combinator is no newbie in accelerator programs. Just last week, they released some stats, including that YC has funded 1,430 companies since 2005, and almost 3,500 founders. Some of those founders have been African, specifically Paystack, OMG Digital and Tress.
After their time at Y Combinator, these startups have seen the transformation such a program has offered them, and other African startups. Many of the African YC founders are very passionate about spreading the word about how to put together a great application. In line with this, the YC Lagos Meetup will be held on September 23, 2017.
The Meetup will be an opportunity for about 9 of the West African YC companies to share detailed info about how to put together a strong application. The deadline for YC applications is about a week after the event, so that event is all about sharing tips about how to increase your chances of making it to the next round of the YC process. How convenient for new applicants!
To make it possible for Ghanaian startups to be a part, Paystack, OMG Digital and Tress will be sponsoring 3 Ghanaian startups to the meetup. The sponsorship includes free hotel accommodation for 2 founders per startup, and free flights to and from Lagos.
Emmanuel Quartey, Head of Growth at Paystack adds, “The founders of OMG Digital (Ghanaian founding team), Tress (Ghanaian/Nigerian founding team) and Paystack (Nigerian founding team) became good friends at YC, hence joining forces to make it possible for Ghanaian startups to come hear firsthand how to improve their chances of getting into YC. The initiative is also in line with Paystack’s core mission to connect markets and communities with each other. In this case, we’re excited for Ghanaian startups to come meet Nigerian companies with whom they can collaborate and share insights.”
Deadline for the application to be sponsored for the meetup is September 10, 11:59 PM. Paystack will select the three winning startups within a week afterwards. For more answers, this Paystack page might be of help.
For startups that are considering applying to YC, this is your best bet to knowing how it all feels like. After the YC team visited Nigeria last year, it is encouraging to know that there are Nigerian and Ghanaian/Nigerian startups who are focused on helping new startups enjoy such opportunities to grow.
If YC is on your to-do list, don’t think twice. Just apply. It will also be a good opportunity to meet several startups all across Lagos and spend the weekend (Friday – Sunday) in the city, with hotel and flight all-catered for. Lagos is a beautiful place; I’m excited this is possible for 3 startups. Go ahead, and express your intentions on the application form for the sponsored meetup in Lagos.
All the best!