Big Hitters Steve Blank, Nir Eyal and Sriram Krishna Back African Online Accelerator and Startup School



Did you know that, according to the African Development Bank, Africa has the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world?  Unfortunately, however, African startups have a failure rate of 54.2%[i]. Enter Startup Circles – Africa’s No.1 online accelerator and startup school – geared towards helping entrepreneurs across the continent build and grow successful, commercially viable businesses.

Startup Circles CEO, Sandras Phiri shares that African  startups need quality mentorship and advice as well as investment, particularly as entrepreneurial development is key to economic recovery and growth, which is especially crucial given the current climate. “For a long time, access to investors or mentors meant that entrepreneurs had to be in specific geographical locations or know specific people. Startup Circles is Pan-African, making it the only startup accelerator that’s accessible to entrepreneurs anywhere, regardless of whether they are in Lilongwe, Cape Town, Nairobi or Accra.

“Most importantly, our students gain mentorship and guidance from leading mentors and experts from around the world whom they otherwise would never have access to, including the likes of veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor and author, Steve Blank; investor and best-selling author, Nir Eyal; and Sriram Krishna, whose accomplishments include serving as Head of International Growth at Tinder and Head of New Markets at Spotify. Our mentors’ areas of expertise range from customer development, launching early-stage scalable businesses, and behavioural engineering, to building billion-dollar businesses, e-learning, establishing businesses in Africa and the US, and funding models that work for women and African entrepreneurs. In addition to providing mentorship, they also often share their insights, advice, and experience at our regularly-held online events which are free for anyone to attend.

“We’ve also partnered with a number of global investors who provide our entrepreneurs with investment and those who don’t get investment receive the honest feedback they need to get investor ready. So it’s like having a teacher who marks the exam but who also gives you the cheat sheet.”

Over and above all this, Startup Circles students are connected to a community of like-minded game changers. They also benefit from monthly live webinars, member-only meetups, monthly group coaching calls and $10,000 in AWS cloud credits.

Currently, the online accelerator and startup school is running four programmes for startups at various stages:

  • Idea Phase 1 to help entrepreneurs bring their business idea to life;
  • Startup Launch Programme for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs wanting to launch their business fast and start making money;
  • Investor Readiness Programme for startups that have launched and now need to raise investment; and
  • SMB Accelerate Programme to help small- or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stand out.

“Small startups that make money and succeed become big companies that employ hundreds of people, impacting thousands more and contributing to the economies of cities and countries,” concludes Phiri.

To sign up, or for more information, go to



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