Startup Leone is an online Magazine covering start-ups news like never before and thus speeding up the Start-up Ecosystem and connecting the dots between Entrepreneurs, Investors, Mentors, Events, Start-up Incubators and Accelerators and all major players in the Start-up Ecosystem.
To build the largest News Magazine where Audiences can obtain information about startups and businesses.
Since 2001 INNOL’s founder and MD has been developing start-ups and accelerating scale ups internationally. In Sierra Leone, since InnoSL’s founding in 2017, we have worked with, and supported, the growth of 25+ start-ups and SMEs and assisted other ecosystem players in doing the same. We started the first full service combined incubator and accelerator in Sierra Leone in 2018 which, since inception, has incubated and accelerated 16 start-ups, many of whom came through Freetown Pitch Night, a monthly pitch event we organize.
Through Freetown Pitch Night, more than 160 entrepreneurs (start-ups and post revenue) have pitched to an audience of investors, customers, possible partners, and development partners. As part of our model, to make our incubator and accelerator inclusive, we engage members of the Sierra Leonean diaspora to help mentor, invest and grow the companies we incubate/ accelerate. We work with a small but engaged network of successful Sierra Leoneans, such as Abu Kamara, co-founder and President of Grovara.
In 2018-2020, we had 16 start-ups under incubation and two SMEs under acceleration. By December 2019 one had generated revenues of SLL 90 million (USD 9.000) and is on target to generate a further SLL 350million (USD 35.000) in 2020/2021. Five others are at the Validation Start Phase, a process which will last for 6 months in 2020/21. Validation remains one of the most important part of our incubation program, with a focus on developing an MVP to address a Tier 1 problem for a particular identified customer segment.
Additionally, we have been engaged in an advisory capacity with approximately 33 SMES between 2017 and 2020.
In August 2020, as part of our strategy of developing the ecosystem,we developed and launched two MVP Crowdfunding platforms. We have seenthat the absence of start-up capital (seed funding) in Sierra Leone is a major obstacle to innovative ideas moving from Problem Solution (Concept) phase to the Product Market Fit (Development of an MVP) phase. Further, the absence of growth capitalfor MSMES and SMES is also an obstacle to the expansion of promisingbusinesses, businesses with viable market segments and demonstrablegrowth potential.