Akro is a company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses. We offer events, venture funding and consulting services, and we have a painfully practical attitude towards entrepreneurship.
UCT Leopards Lair 2021
Calling all University of Cape Town student entrepreneurs!
Win your share of R250 000
Have you ever wanted to pitch to real Sharks, we mean Leopards?
This is your opportunity to get in front of the best!
Magda Wierzycka – co founder of Sygnia Asset Management and Braavos
Jason Basel - co founder of EduOne, Akro and currently Head of Growth with Qoorio
Jason is the Head of Growth at Lithuanian knowledge sharing company Qoorio, a platform that enables people to book each other to share advice.
He was formerly the CEO and co-founder at EduOne (acquired by Fundi Capital in 2020), a company operating South Africa's largest career guidance platform and a leading innovator in education funding services. The ed-tech company has ranked among Fast Company's Top 25 Most Innovative companies in South Africa, and boasts over 3 million users.
In addition to his role at EduOne, Jason also co-founded Akro, a pioneering venture-builder company that owns and operates a network of businesses on a mission to facilitate grassroots growth of true entrepreneurs and scalable startup businesses. Among the Akro network is Akro Accelerate, a super-early stage accelerator backed by Africa's largest venture capital fund, the SA SME Fund, and which pioneered the space with SA's first fully-remote, township-based program alongside Imvelo Ventures and the Technology Innovation Agency.
In 2017, Jason was named one of 200 Leaders of Tomorrow from a globally-selected pool of innovators by the St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. Jason was also chosen as one of Investec and the Department of Science and Technology's 'most promising entrepreneurs in the field of education', representing his country at one of the world's largest tech events, Slush, in Helsinki Finland.
Outside of his professional life, Jason is an intrepid adventurer. He loves wandering into the wild North of Scandinavia in the midst of an icy winter, the coastlines in Southern Africa in the peak of summer or the sheering mountains of the Alps whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Anton is a Co-Founder of Empowerment Capital Investment Partners.
Empowerment Capital specialises in setting up and managing Corporate venture Capital investment companies such as Imvelo Ventures, which has been set up by Empowerment Capital in partnership with Capitec Bank.
Before starting with Empowerment Capital Anton was the Managing Director of the National Empowerment Rating Agency and a partner at Transcend Capital, a boutique corporate finance advisory firm which specialised in M&A and BEE related transactions for large listed South African and multinational corporates. He also served as a Finance Director on the Board of ABP, the Association of BEE Professionals and in this role, he represented the entire BEE verification Industry to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Anton is a qualified German lawyer and also holds an MBA from the Berlin School of Economics.
Precious Mdlalose - IDF Capital
Bridgit Evans - Executive Director: SAB Foundation , 1st Prize Sponsor for Impact Entrepreneurs
Who can Apply?
Anyone or any company who has a cofounder who is
1) a currently formally registered student of University of Cape Town
2) An alumni within the last 3 years of University of Cape Town ie Graduated: 2018, 2019 or 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
Any questions you have will be answered.
Monday 6 September 17:30 p.m. sharp
Create a 3 minute pitch for your company / idea.
This needs to include the following topics :
1 Company Profile
2.1 Include name of the company , vision and team members
2 Problem Statement
2.2 Identify the pain points you are solving.
3 Target Market
2.3 Identify who experiences these pain points by segmenting your customers.
4 Solution Statement /Product
4.1 How are you making the customer’s pain their gains?
4.2 Outline each unique value proposition
5 Revenue Model
2.5 Identify how you will make money by presenting your revenue and cost structure
6.1 Identify your competition and how you aim to differentiate yourself from them.
On Pre selection Pitch day please note that you will ONLY have 3 minutes to pitch
Application form needs to be submitted for the application to be considered
A minimum of 7 slides and a maximum of 10 slides can be submitted.
3. Available to pitch on the 11th September, 25th September, and the 5th of October 2021
4. Be a registered UCT Student for 2021, or alumni from the last 3 years (2018 – to now)
5. Ruling by the Judges is Final and at the sole discretion of the Judges
6. By applying on the UCT Shark Tank you agree to receive Akro Capital Newsletter, which includes UCT Shark Tank updates among other Akro related updates.
As for the pitch, we need you to complete the application form. Click here to complete.
Although not necessary to have your pitch attached at time of application, please note we want you to ensure you have your pitch deck ready for Round 1 of Pre selection process.
Eligibility for Test Funding
- Student has developed and researched a socially innovative idea.
- Requires funding for further development and pilot to refine business model
Eligibility for Startup Funding
- Student/alumni has made significant steps towards product development, and can
No worries, we are happy to have UCT student representation for one founder only.
Yes we have a separate category for Ideation to win R20 000. Please make sure you are still available for the Important dates.
Yes as long as you were an alumni from 2018 and not before.
UCT Students Rising Up in Entrepreneurship
For the third year in a row, the successful UCT Leopards Lair (prev Shark Tank) will be providing opportunity and support to student business and entrepreneurs.
Student entrepreneurship is the essential first step in an entrepreneur’s journey to developing a business and progressing rapidly with a venture. This is a great time to get support and encouragement.
Often though, a student is left wandering if an idea has legs or not, or may be unsure where to turn for pitching advice, founder knowledge and everything related to entrepreneurship.
Tebogo Masekwameng, President of the UCT Entrepreneurs Society, knows this all too well. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs she understands the value of a good support structure, having good mentors and knowledge base.
UCT Entrepreneurs Society provides this with great masterclasses, a new online platform which aggregates vital start-up information for student entrepreneurs and putting her society’s resources to UCT Leopards Lair 2021.
In Tebogo’s words, “ Entrepreneurship underpins the success of any country, and we aim to be a part of South Africa’s success by decreasing the 98% failure rate of entrepreneurs through creating an active and innovative entrepreneurial community within the tech start-up hub of South Africa, where students can gain new entrepreneurial skills and create a quality network of individuals who can accelerate their sustainable growth.”
Putting the annual UCT Shark Tank front and centre of her society’s calendar is really key to their continued growth in the UCT societies scene.
Likewise, Simon Shelton, who heads up Special projects for the largest student society in Africa, UCT InvestSoc, has this to say about the UCT Shark Tank: “We are excited to have seen the need for this on campus and been the catalyst for Leopards Lair prev known as Shark Tank. It has become a mainstay project for what we offer our members. UCT Leopards Lair really showcases hard work, ingenuity and keen competition on campus. We urge all students on campus at whatever stage their business is, to apply and be a part of this.”
Register for the UCT Shark Tank 2021 and stand a chance to win R30 000!
Applications are open and any legally registered student from UCT can register here Calling all students from UCT to enter.
There will be a number of workshops for students to attend leading up to the initial pitching date which is 11 September, and Top 10 student startups will get an opportunity to present to the public October 5th.
The public is invited to watch in-person 5th October (all covid protocol will be observed) and on webinar.
To be notified, please email email@example.com with UCT Leopards Lair 2021 in the subject line.
Akro knows how innovation comes out of new ideas and creativity. Students are best placed to see the future and opportunity. One of Akro’s first successful startups, EduOne, was borne from a UCT student and Akro’s founding member, Jason Basel.
Supporting this initiative has been a no-brainer and through Akro’s network, Akro has been able to provide great support to the students with the likes of local businesses like Iridium Business Solutions, O”Reilly Law and Imvelo Ventures bringing their support.
In the past we have had the likes of Mushambi Mutuma from Alitvex on the panel as well as Gavin Reardon from Kingson Capital and Silicon Cape’s Dr Sumarie Roodt as well as Lelemba Phiri from Enygma Ventures.
Anyone else interested in providing support and prizes to the various stages of the UCT Leopards Lair are asked to contact Janine Basel at firstname.lastname@example.org