Cape Town, South Africa – South African entrepreneurs Paul Cartmel and Nic Haralambous have teamed up to launch AfricanUp (africanup.com). The platform is touted as a space for startups, technology hubs and accelerators to connect with one another, for investors to find startups, and for the technology eco-system at large to tell the world its story.
True to AfricanUp’s purpose, the platform is the result of a connection between the power of New Media Lab’s Lenticular technology (lenticular.io), and Haralambous’ business-development.
“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when launching a platform like AfricanUp. Our goal isn’t to build a revolutionary technology business. Our goal is to connect startups, founders, investors and accelerators from around the world,” says Haralambous.
Explaining his vision for AfricanUp, Cartmel shares, “When Nic approached me with the idea, I instantly felt that the Lenticular platform New Media Labs has been refining would be perfect for the job. We decided to partner up and launch a minimum viable product to put Nic’s brainchild to the test. Powered by the reputational scoring and social features of Lenticular, AfricanUp has an incredible potential to be much more than a listing of startups, angel investors and hubs in Africa.
On AfricanUp, both start-ups and investors have the opportunity to tell their own stories, recommend their peers, and ultimately grow their profiles and reputations. There are currently four main categories through which these conversations are facilitated: Startups, Accelerators, Investors and Tech Hubs.”
The founding team looked at a few key countries when building the platform, considering factors such as existing technology ecosystems, their problems and opportunities.
Through the research process, Haralambous and Cartmel both gained a strong belief in the talent, opportunity and investment possibility to be found in Africa. “However,” realised Haralambous, “One of the major requests that I get from investors and accelerators around the world when discussing technology in Africa is for ‘the great startups’. This made me realise that there is a search problem in the technology startup space (ironically) and I wanted to create a platform to help startups and investors spend less time searching for each other, and more time building great things together.”
Cue AfricanUp: helping startups, investors, accelerators and tech hubs connect with one another across borders.
“In a sense, this is a proudly African way of strengthening businesses – by strengthening the connections in the entire eco-system,” remark the founders.