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Founders Factory联手非洲最大银行Standard Bank,推进非洲创业

来自伦敦的Founders Factory是一个创企加速器和孵化器,它采用了受美国启发的创企加速模式,并通过深入到经常在领域内挣扎的公司中,向欧洲市场倾斜。在英国取得一些成功后,按照常规“套路”,这家机构可能会扩展到像美国或亚洲这样的大市场,但是相反,他们跳过了明显设定好的路线,现正在向非洲大陆的新兴市场扩张。

它现在正与Standard Bank合作,将这一模式带到非洲,Standard Bank是规模最大的非洲银行,资产涉及20个非洲国家。

Founders Factory Africa表示,它将在未来五年设计、建造和扩展100家遍布非洲大陆的颠覆性科技初创公司。最初将孵化加速五家早期创企,然后每年在孵化器内联合创办两家新公司。为了实施该项目,他们正与Roo Rogers合作,Roo Rogers是设计机构Fuse Projects的前合作伙伴,也是英美政府支持的新兴市场加速器SPRING的首席执行官。

Standard Bank不会是最后一个合作伙伴。正如Founders Factory以前在英国所做的那样,它将引进其他公司,每个公司将投资几百万英镑在非洲市场上发展这个项目。

Brent Hoberman和Henry Lane Fox于2015年在伦敦共同创办了Founders Factory,该孵化器迄今已为70家初创企业融资了超过1亿英镑的资金,并与其公司合作伙伴一起实施了60项试点,其中30%获得了企业合同,5家获得了直接投资。

其加速器将通过定制的六个月计划来发展现有业务,而其孵化器将建立全新的业务,专注于解决非洲大陆的关键问题。该公司将非洲总部设在约翰内斯堡,并在当地雇用40多名全职专家,涵盖扩大其初创公司规模所需的所有方面,包括产品开发、UX/UI、工程、投资、业务开发和增长营销。

联合创始人兼首席执行官Henry Lane Fox表示:“现在是非洲的时刻了。作为创始人在世界上最好的合作伙伴,我们很高兴能够帮助新一代非洲企业家建立起具有市场意义的技术产品。”

联合创始人兼Founders Factory Africa首席执行官Roo Rogers表示:“我在非洲工作了十多年,我相信成功的基础是强有力的合作。通过利用非洲最伟大的创企企业家资源,并结合企业的运营实力,我们将为撒哈拉以南非洲的10亿消费者提供规模庞大的解决方案,并将非洲确立为吸引全球投资的目的地。”

他表示,巨大的后勤和基础设施问题使得非洲成为一个难以进入的地方,但是他相信,在其他尝试失败的地方,该公司支持的加速器模式将会成功。“你需要这里现有的企业家来合作。但这不是自上而下的方法,我们将在当地与当地团队和当地合作伙伴一起建设。”

Founders Factory自创办以来,得到了Marks & Spencer、欧莱雅、易捷航空、卫报传媒集团、Aviva、Holtzbrinck和CSC的投资。

Founders Factory out of London is a startup accelerator and incubator which has taken the older US-inspired startup acceleration model and put a European slant on it by going in deep with corporates, who often flounder in the space. After some success out of the UK you would expect them to expand to big markets like the US or Asia, but instead, they have skipped the obvious route and are now branching out into the emerging markets of the African continent.

It’s now partnering with Standard Bank, the largest African bank by assets across 20 African countries to bring the model to Africa.

Founders Factory  Africa says it will design, build and scale 100 disruptive tech startups across the continent over the next five years, initially with five early stage startups and co-create two new companies every year within the incubator. To execute the project, they are partnering with Roo Rogers, a former partner of design agency Fuse Projects and CEO of the UK and US governments backed emerging market accelerator SPRING.

Standard Bank will not be the last partner. As FF has done before in the UK, it will bring in other corporates, where each invests several million pounds to grow the project across African markets.

Founders Factory, co-founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox in London in 2015, has so far secured over £100m in funding for its 70 startups and implemented 60 pilots with its corporate partners with 30% securing enterprise contracts and five closing direct investments, they say.

The accelerator will grow existing businesses through a bespoke six-month programme, whilst the incubator will build completely new businesses focused on addressing key issues on the continent. It will be based in Johannesburg and will hire over 40 full-time specialists locally, covering all aspects needed to scale its startups including product development, UX/UI, engineering, investment, business development and, growth marketing.

Henry Lane Fox, Co-Founder and CEO, Founders Factory, said: “The time for Africa is now. As the world’s best partner for founders, we are excited to help empower a new generation of African entrepreneurs to build market-defining technology products.”

Roo Rogers, Co-Founder & CEO Founders Factory Africa, said: “Having worked in Africa for over a decade, I believe success is underpinned by strong collaboration. By harnessing the resources of Africa’s greatest startup entrepreneurs and combining with the operational might of corporates, we will deliver scaled solutions to sub-Sahara’s 1 billion consumers and establish Africa as an attractive destination for global investment.

He told me by phone from South Africa that there were huge logistical and infrastructure issues which make Africa a tricky place to scale in, but that he is confident that the corporate-backed accelerator model will succeed where other attempts have failed. “You need existing incumbents here to partner with. But this is not going to be a top-down approach, we will build locally with local teams and local partners in every case.”

Started by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory has received investment from Marks & Spencer, L’Oreal, easyJet, Guardian Media Group, Aviva, Holtzbrinck and CSC.


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