AMPION – Crowdfunding breaks new ground to support African Entrepreneurs [Press Release]

25 September 2014, Berlin, Harare

“Adopt a startup”: A new way to make innovative African startups sustainable

The crowdfunding campaign for this years’ AMPION Venture Buses went live on September 23, 2014. In order to fund extensive AMPION Fellowship Program supporting the most creative and innovative startups built on the 2014 African Venture Buses, AMPION decided to break new ground in its funding approach.

While the Indiegogo campaign Change through technology in Africa will also offer classic perks like T-Shirts for smaller donations, AMPION explores a new approach for donations of 99€ and above: supporters have the possibility to adopt one of the winning AMPION Venture Bus startups or a single African entrepreneur. Depending on the budget, donators may choose from different lengths of support.

Adopting a startup enables its transition from an innovative idea into a real business, which also contributes to African job creation and entrepreneurial ecosystem improvement. As patrons of the startups, donors will in the future also be mentioned on the website of the respective company.

Over 160 participants on this years’ Venture Buses will create 16+ startups tackling African needs and priorities. The AMPION Fellowship Program will nurture the most promising business ideas, and produce tangible results for the local economy.

By increasing the interactivity between the sponsors and the sponsored, AMPION increases the transparency of its Fellowship Program and gives supporters the possibility to keep track of the impact of their donation. This way, AMPION involves crowdfunding supporters in the whole process of capacity building provided by the Fellowship Program. Donors can witness first-hand the positive change they help to enable.

About the AMPION Venture Bus

Four AMPION Venture Bus hackathons will travel through 16 countries in Africa this year to create innovative and sustainable startups for the African market and tackle local challenges. Last year, the pilot bus was covered by renowned media such as the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Deutsche Welle. After the successful first journey in 2013 through Zimbabwe and South Africa, three startups have launched operations: Sterio.me, a learning system via SMS; Workforce, a platform bringing together job seekers and potential employers; and Bribed, an app to tackle corruption by crowdsourcing real time data on bribes that now cooperates with Transparency International in Germany.

About the AMPION Fellowship Program

The AMPION Fellowship Program offers financing, mentorship and office space to the best startups developed for the African market. It provides a valuable exchange of expertise by connecting the entrepreneurs to AMPIONs network of investors, internet accelerators and business experts. Additionally, it enables the entrepreneurs to work on their ideas for six months without having to worry about a lack of income. And lastly, the office spaces provided by AMPION and its partner AfriLabs are integrated co-working spaces in innovation hubs – this way the startups will have the possibility of continued networking and knowledge exchange in their office.