In mid-February, ADMF launched the Creative Scale-Ups Accelerator. Special contributions were made by Google Kenya, Lattice Training, Heva Fund, Centum Foundation, DXD, Up Magazine, Viktoria Ventures, and Ory Okolloh while Bitange Ndemo presided over graduation.
This historic and innovative initiative fills an important gap. While technology companies are often touted as attractive for investment, little attention or resources are channeled towards the creative economy. This accelerator will equip these entrepreneurs with insights and tools to help them scale their companies.
At the end of the week, having undertaken several exercises, the companies were required to pitch to a panel of angel investors alongside institutional investors like the Heva Fund and Centum Foundation. In addition to its preference for companies situated in the media, technology and arts sector, the accelerator is distinctive in its focus on scale-up, rather than start-up, companies.
The first module of the Creative Scale-ups Accelerator comprised of a carefully selected pool of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that either have, or are predicted to shortly attain, ability to grow at over 20% annually, driving job creation and innovation in their segment.
Over 30 entrepreneurs – representing design, media, technology, and entertainment companies were selected to participate, including the six finalists in the DXD 2015 awards and select creative entrepreneurs such as Juliani and CodOrps Games.
The proposed 1-week accelerator followed the framework from “No Man’s Land” which examined the Market, (Business) Model, Money, Management and Metrics of all participant companies. Lattice Consulting facilitated “Acumen”, a Financial Management simulation for one full day of the week.
The ADMF Manifesto
The Africa Digital Media Foundation, working alongside the Africa Digital Media Institute and the Africa Digital Media Studios, exists to “inspire and equip Africa’s digital generation”. We provide scholarships for qualifying students to enroll in ADMI’s cutting edge programs in creative media and technology. We also work with government and industry to help creative entrepreneurs create both purpose and employment for Africa’s youth.
ADMF has 3 activity streams:
- Inclusion: A key function of the Foundation is to ensure that Africa’s creative industries are inclusive and accessible. ADMF works to support innovative models that provide access to funding for scholarships. ADMI believes that the future of Africa’s Creative Industries is bright: ADMF will ensure that they’re also representative and capture the stories and potential of the whole continent, not just one stratum of it.
- Investment: A secondary role of the Foundation is to ensure vital new work attracts the investment they need to produce, distribute and succeed. ADMF works to provide and support innovative financing models that provide seed funding and investment to early-stage projects, to create world-class revenue-generating content for the world stage.
- Influence: A third element of the Foundation is to act as a force for advancing the policy changes needed to accelerate the growth of the creative industries: from student financing rules to tax rebates for visitors coming to film in Kenya and beyond. ADMF will act as a networker and vital resource for information, insights and recommendations for unlocking the potential of this fast-growth market.