The second round of ten female entrepreneurs to benefit from GrindstoneX’s growth engineering program—which is being conducted in collaboration with Naspers Labs—has been announced.
According to Disrupt Africa, in 2022, the Grindstone Accelerator in South Africa and Naspers Labs collaborated to introduce GrindstoneX, a new accelerator program exclusively for women entrepreneurs, with the goal of enhancing their investability, scalability, and readiness for exit.
Grindstone, which was founded in 2014 and is jointly owned by Knife Capital and Thinkroom, focuses on helping innovative, high-growth firms achieve scale. On the other hand, Naspers Labs is the youth development initiative of the multinational consumer internet company and technology investor, Naspers.
Following the announcement earlier this year of the selection of ten South African businesses for the first cohort, an additional ten have been chosen for the second iteration. These include Meagan Chauke’s ICT company Featherlinx, which specializes in creating systems and applications for the vulnerable; Nabo Binase’s educational food, skincare, and travel experience; Mukundi Lambani’s educational gaming and streaming platform Ambani Africa; and Zandile Khumalo’s agri-tech startup HYHarvest.
Other companies that were chosen are MobileGPT, a WhatsApp application developed by Bertha Kgokong that integrates the advanced capabilities of the GPT-4 engine to give users a personal AI assistant on the go; Makhoba Professional Services, a networking and cabling internet services company founded by Thabile Makhoba; and inJoin, a technology empowerment company founded by Naledi Sithole that provides cutting-edge technology and architecture to enable organizations to be data-informed and future-proof.
Lebogang Mashaba founded RealPPE Marketplace, a one-stop shop for industrial PPE buyers and medical practitioners, and Vani Jolly founded African Distribution Technologies, which uses website and app technologies to provide a B2B e-commerce platform to meet the needs of business owners in townships and underserved areas, round out the list.
Leading the way in gender-lens investing in South Africa to bridge the female financing gap is Grindstone Ventures. Companies who meet the requirements for the GrindstoneX accelerator could gain from further funding possibilities or future acceleration programs via the Grindstone network.