Metta in partnership with the UK-Kenya Tech Hub has opened applications for the Startup-SME linkage program 2.0.
As the name implies, the program aims to provide tech startups with direct linkages to SMEs which fall under their target customers, enabling them to secure a commercial deal.
About Startup-SME linkage program
Through this program, selected startups will have an opportunity to pitch/demo their solutions to SMEs in a digital live marketplace to either secure a partnership or commercialization deal.
Being an agnostic program, applications are open to post-revenue startups in various sectors so long as they offer viable solutions that can address SMEs’ existing problems. Note also that female-owned / led startups are highly encouraged to apply.
For interested startups, check out the criteria below:
- Be a tech-driven startup
- Be a registered entity
- Be willing to collaborate
- Must have active users on their platform and demonstrate use cases.
- Must have practical solutions to SMEs’ problems in areas such as disrupted sales, e-commerce conversion rate, logistics inefficiencies, poor website engagement among others.
Startup-SME linkage program is also accessible to SMEs that are interested in securing a commercial and/or partnership deal with inventive post-revenue tech startups in various sectors including agriculture, clean energy, customer experience, digital marketing, e-commerce, health, HR, logistics, and others.
Interested SMEs must meet the following requirements to qualify:
- Be a registered entity
- Have proof of product adoption in the market
- Willingness to embrace and deploy tech solutions
- Willingness to open its network to startups.
The program describes an ideal startup and SME through the parameters below:
A startup should be less than 5 years, distinguished by a “scale fast, disrupt things” tradition, and fully operational with the tech space predominantly operate in the tech front with the aim of building cutting-edge products/services.
On the other hand, an SME should be a self-sustaining company with a monthly overturn of Ksh. 500,000. It must have existed for over 5 years of operation in tech or non-tech space. It must have more stability through a proven business model and well-known products to customers in known local markets.
Requirements for participants
- All participants must be ready to attend at least 2 hrs training from March 8 to 28th March before they can move up to the deal room.
- All participants are required to honor all their allocated business pairs in the deal room.
- All participants must be willing to detail their progress from the deal rooms and to be featured in the case studies
- Startup founders must have a deck (less than 10 slides) detailing their products/services and are required to tailor their value proposition to fit their paired SME(s) where applicable.
- SME representatives must be willing to submit some of their areas of challenges and or new horizon/opportunities that they want to explore beforehand to allow for suitable matchmaking.
- SMEs must also avail some of their key decision-makers in the Market Place Sessions to evaluate synergies, review commercial or partnership opportunities, and sign off on deals.
Benefits of the Startup-SME linkage program
- 4 free masterclasses modeled on the Deal Making Design Framework;
- Access to practical templates for deal-making;
- Participation in the Deal Rooms with potential clients and service providers;
- Publicity through a business feature on the Metta and UK-Kenya Tech networks.
- Application period – January 11, 2021, to February 16, 2021
- Application feedback – 17th February 17 2021 to 19th February 2021
- Commencement of training – February 23rd, 2021 to March 5th, 2021
- Market Place sessions – March 8th, 2021 to 28th March 28th, 2021
- Debrief sessions – March 29th, 2021 to March 31st, 2021
Be advised that selection will be based on the program’s capacity to fulfill participants’ needs and desired pairings in the deal room sessions. Apply here if you’re interested in the Startup-SME linkage program 2.0.
Entries close on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
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