On Tuesday, October 28th 2014, Swappaholics was shortlisted as a semi finalist for the Ghana Startup Cup Competition, alongside other 14 startups. The goal of the competition was to select an innovative startup who will represent Ghana on the Global Startup Competition stage. CEO and CoFounder of Swappaholics, Mr. Francis Obirikorang shares his StartUp Cup experience and his progress so far.
#FrancisSpeaks: Out of the 15 shortlisted startups of which Swappaholics was part. 7 were going to be selected as finalists to compete in a 6 week program that spanned from mentoring, business model design etc. To select the top 7 finalists, the 15 semi finalists were to pitch a 5 minute presentation on their startup to a team of judges and investors at the Ghana Angel Investors Networks (GAIN) Head Office in Accra.
It was a fierce pitch competition. The judges asked probing questions about the startups and how they planned to monetize it. After the nerve wrecking pitch sessions, Swappaholics was selected to be amongst the top 7 finalists.
The Ghana Startup Cup finalist program was an educative one. Mentors from all spheres of life shared their life experiences in running their business, what mistakes to avoid to prevent your startup from collapsing and other important business facts. Kwaku David shared invaluable messages concerning how he started his photography business and transformed it into one of the best photography companies in Ghana using innovative technologies and reliance on social media.
Swappaholics didn’t win the top honors in the finalist event; but it was a life changing experience. A few months after the program, we got selected into the prestigious Turn8 Accelerator Program in Dubai, UAE organized by DP World being the largest shipping port operators in the MENA region and i360 Institute.
Turn8 Accelerator is program to promote the startup culture in the Middle East And North Africa (MENA) regions with its sole aim of investing in technological startups that are scalable and relevant. 10 Startups are selected from all over the world to be a part of a 120 day acceleration program. Swappaholics is the only startup selected from the continent of Africa.
Swappaholics has been a torch bearer and representing the African continent to the fullest. With the introduction of more swapping verticals and also making inroads into Kenya, Nigeria and Dubai markets; Swappaholics is spreading the new swap culture that empowers individuals and businesses to connect and swap products, skills and services socially. We are poised to introduce the swap culture globally and make it an alternative to cash trading. Swappaholics is scheduled to launch in all these target markets by the end of 2015. Watch out for the next big thing to come out of Africa.