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Calling African startups: NBA wants you

The deadline is looming for startups to apply for the National Basketball Association’s accelerator programme, focused on early-stage African startup companies.

NBA Africa has launched Triple-Double: NBA Africa Startup Accelerator, which it says will support Africa’s tech ecosystem and the next generation of African tech entrepreneurs. It will provide them with access to mentorship and capital that will help drive growth in the sports and creative industries.

Operated by ALX Ventures, a leading technology incubator that provides the continent’s tech leaders with access to the skills and tools to launch and scale startups, Triple-Double: NBA Africa Startup Accelerator is open to early-stage startups in Africa that develop solutions in event management and ticketing, youth development, AI, and digital marketing in the sports and creative industries.  Startups can apply to participate at until Friday, 31 May 2024. 

The submissions will be narrowed down to the top 10 startups, which will then be paired with mentors comprised of NBA Africa and ALX leadership, and other corporate stakeholders. They will provide guidance to the companies with a focus on product development, business growth and go-to-market strategy.

In September, NBA Africa will hold a Demo Day in New York City that will coincide with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  Participating companies will pitch their products to a panel of top industry leaders from the U.S., Africa, and around the world.  The panel will then determine the four winning companies, which will be awarded financial support, mentorship, and the opportunity to work with NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on their current and future initiatives on the continent. 

The announcement was made today by NBA Africa CEO Clare Akamanzi, who was joined by US secretary of commerce Gina M. Raimondo and US Trade and Development Agency director Enoh T Ebong at the American Chamber of Commerce’s Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

Said Akamanzi: “This groundbreaking new initiative reflects our commitment to expanding the African sports ecosystem, and these incredible companies will be at the forefront of shaping the future of sport on the continent.”

NBA Africa is an affiliate of the National Basketball Association (NBA), a global sports and media organisation with a mission “to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball”.  NBA Africa conducts the league’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL), and has opened subsidiary offices in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; and Nairobi, Kenya.  The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.

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