Highlighting the 25 Startups for SA’s Grindstone Accelerator Cape Town and Johannesburg cohorts

Highlighting the 25 Startups for SA’s Grindstone Accelerator Cape Town and Johannesburg cohorts

The South African accelerator, Grindstone, has named 25 startups for its year-long accelerator program. Startups will be participating in cohorts in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Selected startups will go through a thorough assessment of their strategy during the program and receive coaching from top international resources, including some of the Grindstone alumni companies that have successfully scaled their operations in the past.

Will Green, director of the Grindstone program said that the announcement was a celebration of an ecosystem effort because so many people participated at some time in the entrepreneurial paths of these businesspeople.

“This announcement celebrates an ecosystem effort. This is because 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.

“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 25 companies, 14 from Gauteng, 10 from the Western Cape and one from Kwazulu-Natal,” said Green.

The accelerator program began in 2014 with the goal of creating and growing a larger startup ecosystem that includes alumni, advisers, angel investors, and partners. In order to assist the selected companies in becoming viable and fundable, the program intends to provide training and support. The accelerator company also wants to fill in the underfunded pre-Series A and post-seed gaps, which are critical phases in South Africa’s startup investment process. This accelerator program batch is the ninth in Cape Town and the tenth in Johannesburg.

The 25 Grindstone Accelerator Startups

Among the 25 startups chosen are 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; 123tutors, a web-based 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.

Additional startups include: science-backed learning platform Beeline Learn, LawyeredUp, a legal consultancy firm looking to revolutionize legal in technology, AfricaInc, a “always learning” media company that equips business owners and leaders with everything they need to launch, run, and expand a successful enterprise in Africa, and fleet management platform Fleet IT.

Deep Learning Café startup helping businesses bridge the gap between their always expanding data and the continuous crucial decisions required to foster success; Cartrun, a grocery delivery service that operates on a dark-store online shopping concept; a platform for on-demand pay called Level Finance that enables users to obtain a portion of their earned revenue; Dark Pools, a company that creates machine learning-driven products; Popping, a pop-up market platform for small business stall reservations; and Creditais, which uses alternative data and machine learning to reliably grade first-time borrowers’ creditworthiness.

There are also Melio AI, which supports businesses in commercializing their AI products; a website called Limu Lab that enables young children to study indigenous languages; ecosystem for early talent discovery Jobox.

The list is completed by Welo Health, which offers at-home healthcare services to individuals and businesses, and Sendoff, a mobile app that is digitizing the funeral value chain; interactive digital bookstore and e-library Blankett Tech, the insurtech firm Sugar, the mobile real estate app Ama Room, and the inverted automobile marketplace Virtual Drive.