Cape Town is the place to be if your are in the tech start-up scene with the Launch of Google’s first incubator, Umbono. Umbono is Zulu for “vision”, “sight” or “idea”. If you’re reading this I’m sure you have many ideas that have juts been waiting for opportunities like this. This tech incubator will be based in Cape Town and already has the support of Silicon Cape and the Bandwidth Barn.
The Umbono program will help transform your vision into a business. Your idea – probably web or mobile deployed – is exciting on many levels: for your future users, potential investors, and for the people on your team building it.
Successful applicants will receive $25k-$50k in seed funding as well as many of the other benefits of being part of the Umbono network.
It looks like all you require is a passionate team and a strong idea to kick things off. You do not even require a business plan. Find out more about Umbono here.
The Umbono program lasts for 6 months—enough time for your team to get your idea formally off the ground or to prepare your existing business for its next round of funding. By the end of the program, you’ll be pitch-ready and have a business plan in place.
Teams should expect to receive a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $50,000. Capital from Angel investors will be exchanged for equity (10%) and will be governed by standard terms of investment (the same terms for each team). Funding will be disbursed around milestones; a customized schedule will be drafted with each team upon program induction, based on your anticipated development schedule. It is up to you to decide how to use the funds.
We provide the furnished office space and bandwidth for the duration of the program. This is a collaborative space for all Teams in the program, providing a forum for mutual support, idea sharing and tech talks.
Business Skills Training
Umbono Teams will have access to the Bandwidth Barn’s VeloCITI program. This program covers all business topics relevant to an emerging business, from business model definition to market segmentation and pricing strategies. The 10 business modules and 4 additional financial modules are led by external topic experts and business leaders. The sessions will take place on a rolling basis and Teams can participate in all modules or only those areas where they would like to build up more skills specific to the stage of their product development and enterprise.
The Mentor Base
For the duration of the Umbono Program, Teams will have regular access to our extensive network of business and technology experts, many of whom are Googlers. Umbono’s Mentor Base is extensive, so we are confident that we can connect you with an expert for any coaching needs, be it marketing, finance or product development-related. (See our People page for some examples of our mentors). In addition to that, each team will be paired with a Google Power Mentor, someone from our Product Management team, you will be in regular weekly contact with them throughout the 6-month program for hands-on guidance.
All great stories need a platform for advertising their success. Association with the Umbono brand and resulting awareness at our networking events, blog posts, and press releases will provide Teams with reach to additional funding.