Nigeria-focused tech startup investment fund, 440 has launched Deal Weekend Lagos, a 24 hour event in which startups will compete to receive equity investment of between $100k and $250k. 440 guarantees that at least one deal will be signed in the 24 hours and that startups will receive mentorship from respected investors in the ecosystem who have all built their own businesses and can give their networks, expertise and funding.
440 Deal Weekend will include impressive investors who have themselves built successful businesses. So far we can confirm Kresten Buch of 88mph, Chika Nwobi of L5Lab, Elo Umeh of Twinpine Mobile and Bastian Gotter of iRoko. More will be confirmed soon.
440, a joint venture between Lagos-based L5 Labs and Nairobi-based 88mph, launched their maiden accelerator programme in Lagos in 2014 and funded 9 startups who spent three months working with the 440 investment team and mentors. The decision to launch Deal Weekend in 2015 instead of another accelerator programme was borne out of the experience that startups tend to do best when they have investors who are experienced entrepreneurs. However, these types of investors rarely have time to look at more than a couple startups a year, and the follow-up process post-investment can be daunting.
“The startups we look at are often small teams who lack experience and the network necessary to quickly grow their businesses. They often struggle to focus on their product and customers due to the multitude of other things that need time and attention, like admin tasks, office related issues and finding follow-on investment,” says 88mph founder Kresten Buch and Co-Founder of 440.
Deal Weekend ensures that vetting, investing, and oversight of multiple startups’ accounts and actions, can be more structured, and that the investors can discuss interesting deals with other like-minded investors. It will also allow startups more freedom and time to independently pursue an agreed direction, reaching out to investors how and when they see fit.
Shortlisted startups will have the opportunity to receive mentorship from business experts and one-on-one time with the 440 investment team. Chika Nwobi of L5Lab who is Co-Founder and Director of 440 said, “Besides capital, one of the biggest needs of start-ups is access to experienced mentors, we are bringing together an all-star set of mentors from different backgrounds to help our startups.”
Startups will benefit greatly from 440 Deal Weekend as it can often take months to find investors for a business, Deal Weekend guarantees at least one investment in 24 hours. Startup founders don’t have to commit to a long accelerator programme, so they can continue their daily business operations and get help and advice whenever they need it. They also get the chance to receive investment from well respected entrepreneurs who have built and exited successful ventures.
“The selected startups will be at the frontier of the evolving mobile/web industry in Nigeria. Their businesses will use mobile/web technology to scale & disrupt traditional businesses, and target African consumers. They will be a part of creating a new generation of tech giants.” said Kresten Buch of 88MPH and Co-Founder of 440. Startups have the opportunity to apply for investment at www.440.ng until 13th August 2015.
Startups can apply at www.440.ng until 13th August. Application deadline is midnight on 13th August 2015. Altogether 3-6 teams will get accepted to Deal Weekend. The teams will be notiﬁed if they have been accepted by 21st August 2015 while the main event will hold between the 4th and 5th of September.