With the continent’s economy poised for rapid growth, 88mph is hoping to encourage the entrepreneurs of the “African diaspora” to return to their roots.
A new startup accelerator is offering an enticing proposition to startup talent in the U.S. and Europe: move to Africa. For entrepreneurs, the emerging middle class in Africa may represent a big market opportunity. Widespread Internet connectivity is just arriving after years of mobile Internet delivered through feature phones.
Yet Africa is not for everyone, says Sylvia Brune, director of the 88MPH accelerator. Named for the speed at which the DeLorean in Back to the Future reaches the critical time-traveling point, the accelerator invests an average of about $25,000 in early-stage companies hoping to capitalize on emerging African markets on the web. 88MPH participants enter a three-month startup accelerator program in Nairobi and Cape Town, and (soon) Lagos.
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