kLab this week launched the ‘StartupWave’ boot-camp, in association with GIZ and Intellecap, a local initiative to capture the hearts and minds of everyone interested in entrepreneurship advice, mentorship, business/startup support and access to funding.
With 15 selected entrepreneurs, six experienced mentors from Rwanda and India and strategic partners in both IT and financial space, the start up wave is expected to do great things.
StartupWave is a new kLab online educational platform that will link startups to mentors and prepare them to meet investors. It will help validate startup ideas, teach them business modeling, get them mentored and help them develop business plans.
The platforms seven stage process allows one to join in with an already existing startup or idea at whatever stage it may be at – by providing advice, mentorship, business support and the opportunity to access funding if the business idea goes through.
Claudette Irere, the managing director of kLab says apart from capital, businesses need mentoring support in different stages and areas.
“Being a virtual platform, it can be accessed by anyone anywhere. It complements the efforts of incubators by providing webinars and online mentoring,” she says.
It provides both pre-incubation and incubation services with online and offline support, and there is no need to travel, relocate, or follow a fixed schedule. The pre-incubation services are designed from idea to pilot stage startups (anyone with a business idea can access these services for free). The incubation services however are designed to help startups raise investment.
One applies online through the platform and pays a small registration fee to get into the program.
It is a unique, sustainable business model, involving a large network of incubators, investors and corporates.
Mufuth Nkurunziza, the Chief Executive Officer of Guez Show, a graphic and design company, says acquiring skills before investment makes a lot of sense.
“It is very important to get skills of running and managing a business before investing money in a project because it is then that you make good use of the money and can easily expand. StartupWave gives you all this at once,” Nkurunziza said.
He encourages entrepreneurs not to rush into investment before they are investment-ready in all aspects.
StartupWave is a virtual incubation platform that has been built and conceptualized by Intellecap in partnership with Government of UK’s DFID in India and GIZ on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. This platform is designed in consultation with and is being used by incubators, corporates, funds and start-ups. The implementation with kLab is supported and financed by the EcoEmploi Programme of GIZ Rwanda.