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I’M IN Accelerator has revealed that it intends to run an all-women cohort this year.

The Johannesburg-based accelerator, launched last year by IDF Capital and aimed at high-growth black tech startups, is currently in the middle of its inaugural cohort, which is set to conclude the first phase of acceleration later this month.

IDF Capital executive director Polo Leteka said yesterday that the all-female cohort is “the programme’s biggest plan for 2018”.

“In our experience we have not seen a lot of females playing in this space because of the lack of targeted programmes to empower and grow them, amongst other reasons. We have tasked ourselves to bring 15 women into the programme before the end of the calendar year,” said Leteka .

I’M IN Accelerator is planning on launching a cohort of 15 women tech entrepreneurs

I’M IN accelerator’s inaugural cohort launched in September 2017 with 10 startups.

Read more: I’M IN Accelerator finally under way, here are the startups in the first cohort

Commenting on the progress of the first cohort, she said the participants have developed platforms which “required minimal intervention from our mentors”. This, she said, demonstrates that ICT skills in young black entrepreneurs exist and have been developing over the years.

“As a result we spent more time focusing on adequately resourcing the companies through HR (human resources) support, commercialisation, market access, funding and other areas,” she said.

Mentors working with the programme include Huvest People Solutions, Speak Afrika Consulting, the DefinitiveEdge and Rizasmart Consulting.

Without disclosing their names, Leteka said some of the participants have been able to secure strong contracts and capture marketshare greater than what the accelerator initially anticipated.

However, she said some of the companies have lost out on transactions and taken more time to figure out their position in the market.

“None of the issues encountered have been catastrophic,” she stressed.

Featured image: IMIN Accelerator via Twitter 

 

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