2019 ACCEL Awards for Early Stage African Startups

Deadline: January 31, 2019.

The ACCEL Awards is an annual business start-up contest organised by the London Business School’s Africa Club in collaboration with the Club Alumni and Corporate Partners including FTSE 100 companies, venture capital firms, entrepreneurship incubators and media companies. At the Africa Club, our vision is to have a profound impact on business development in Africa. We are therefore proud to introduce the ACCEL Awards as part of our long-term commitment to African entrepreneurship. The ACCEL Awards is designed to recognize promising African start-ups and providing them with an international platform to promote their ideas, brands and businesses.




1. You need to be an African entrepreneur with a business proposal that has proof of concept.

2. The business needs to be Africa focused or caters primarily to the African market.




1. Get international visibility across the world’s most successful corporations, media firms and African professionals.

2. ACCELAwards is organised by the Africa Club of the London Business School. One of the world’s elite business schools.

3. Access mentoring from a deep pool of business talent at the London Business School and partnering firms.

4. Join a global network of successful Africa Club Alumni, business partners and Africa focused professionals.



Each entry will be assessed by a minimum of two judges based on the below 5 criteria.

a. Originality of idea

• Is the start-up a new or novel application of existing knowledge/technology/business model to the Africa region in focus ?
• High scores should be given to start-ups that are not clones of well known business models already existing within the African region

b. Strength of business case

• Is the founder able to articulate a strong business case including target market, pain points and how the start-up is differentiated?
• Does the start-up have clear revenue models and path way to profitability?
• High scores should be given to those applications that demonstrate clear business plan to achieving a profitable business

c. Level of product development

• Is the product or idea well developed and ready for investment opportunities?
• Do they have technology patents, rights, brand ownerships or partnerships already in place?
• Is the product already in the market?
• High scores should be given to those applications that demonstrate well developed products or services that are already on sale

d. Level of business opportunity or impact

• What is the level of potential social impact of the idea in Africa?
• What is the potential size of the market share and profitability
• High scores should be given to those applications that demonstrate scalable social impact

e. Team’s ability to execute the idea and other Intangibles

• Does the team have the right combination of passion? insight? experience? qualifications?
• Do secondary aspects of the application strengthen the likelihood of success e.g. founder’s story?
• High scores should be given to those applications that demonstrate passionate teams with significant expertise in the relevant business sector.





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