Am I eligible?
Diaspora Demo is open to all persons who are 18 years or older with a technology enabled company based in, focused on or with one or more founders from the continent of Africa, the African Diaspora or of African descent. Applicants may only submit one application per year. The startup (“Startup”) must adhere to the following criteria to apply:
- The Startup must have been launched within the last 2 years
- If the Startup has received external funding, it can only be up to USD 0.5m
- The Startup must have a demonstrable product or service (Minimum Viable Product, MVP)
- The founders of the Startup must be prepared to talk about it in public
- The Startup must be in the following sectors: Health, Education/Job Preparedness, Smart Energy, Logistics, Fintech, Agritech or enabling more efficient commerce for SMEs. We are also interested in how companies are leveraging emerging technology like blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.
After a company meets eligibility requirements, we ask, “Does this company align with the ethos of tiphub?” (see here) We asked the following questions for a deeper screen:
- Does the organisation take on a big problem in their selected market?
- How do they look to solve this big problem in an unique, innovative, differentiated way?
Once we identified the answers to those questions in the materials provide, we developed a framework that would help assess the readiness of each company to receive investment and the perceived ability to appropriately and effectively allocate their funds to produce value for stakeholders. In order to identify and track our rationale, we quantified our preferences based on 13 indicators. Note, this is not an exact science… far from it. It just gives us a frame of reference to compare companies and markets overtime.
- Market size
What is your market size? What is the addressable market size and what is a company’s current penetration?
- Active users
How many active users do you have on your platform/ do you provide a service for?
- Marketing momentum
How well has the company been able to pick up social media followers, web page visits, app downloads, etc
- Projected momentum
Based on market, industry, and geography, how well is the company positioned to continue to grow?
- Team strength
How well is the team positioned to take advantage of the opportunity?
- User growth
How fast has the company been able to acquire and keep users?
Is the overall opportunity large or small?
- Unique advantage
How unfair is the advantage?
- Profit margin
How large are their margins as compared to others within their market, current portfolio, and/or industry?
- Revenue growth
What is the velocity of their revenue growth?
- Exit potential
How quick/ what stage is there an opportunity for an exit?
- Social momentum
What is the relative velocity at which the company is getting social impressions?
- Social impact
How capable is a company at organizing impact on a grand scale?
Each indicator is scored from 0-4, 0 being non existent and 4 meaning well positioned. Thematically, our goal with the stated indicators is to identify aggregate risk/ opportunity inherent within industry, competitive landscape, regulatory regime, management team, operating nuance, cash flows, and social impact goals.
Once we’ve scored each company, we take a look at if we are capable (knowledge, network, and experience) to provide the best support to a company. Most companies will often be too early for us to support or already on their way so we can’t provide significant value. We’re looking for opportunities right in the middle.