Forget business plans! The Launch Programme accelerates your path to launching your Startup and Pitching in front of investors.
Straightforward content & Actions
We have simple, easy to understand content that only focuses on what you need to know. Our homework is limited to what you need to do to build your business.
You'll have weekly tutorial sessions, office hours and access to seasoned Entrepreneurs as Mentors.
Weekly Pitch Practice
We coach you through pitching from Day 1 to ensure you're in the best position to access investment funding.
Monthly Investor Pitching
We host monthly Investor Pitching for those in the Programme. The best pitches from our Friday Practice make it through to this day!
Are you interested in avoiding months of wasted effort?
Previously, early stage entrepreneurs were taken through a long process to launch their business. They were taught everything about everything: ideation, validation, launch, financial management, legal, and also people management. They were asked to create and update long business plans that nobody reads, with imaginary excel projections, and in the end... they still struggled to make their businesses work.
Now you can learn just what you need to fast track your progress
Over 12 weeks, at Startup Circles you learn the key things that matter, from a team of entrepreneurs and investors who understand what it really takes to build a company.
You get guidance from judges and mentors who’ve build businesses before. They know what it takes so they never ask for things only big companies have, need or do.
After every pitch, you get honest, clear and specific feedback on what has not worked, why and what to focus on next. This can save years of frustration, losing money and feeling like you are letting your parents or spouse down. This doesn't have to be this way anymore!
And finally, you’ll learn how to create a pitch deck that investors actually read! (A beautiful, well-presented pitch deck of less than 13 slides has helped previous Startup Circles founders raise over a million dollars in investment.)
In this world, we are all busy and hustling... But the question is ... are you busy hustling on the things that matter?
Meet entrepreneurs like you who've joined the programme
In the four years of building my company, attending a number of programs and pivoting 5 times, nobody has given my team and I half the knowledge we have received from Startup Circles in the last 4 weeks.
Gasta Kevin, Yamzit
The Launch has introduced our team to a community of brilliant, like-minded entrepreneurs, from across the continent, with whom we’re exchanging a wealth of knowledge and experiences in the entrepreneurship journey.
S'bu, Patron Assist
I was part of the Y Combinator Startup School this January and I still feel I am gaining more at StartupCircles than at YC cohort. I think the reason is because we get to talk to Sandras and mentors directly, as well as other Entrepreneurs
Oladimeji Luqman Malomo, Push Eat
I want to say thank you for last night and this training program - I am learning SO much about how to implement ideas - I wasn't aware that there was in fact a framework one could follow for entrepreneurship so this is SUPER insightful.
Meet your Launch Programme Lead
Sandras is an expert on entrepreneurship and innovation. He has founded successful companies in IT, entertainment and startup education. He has worked with over 25 organisations, lectured at over 17 universities and been to 22 countries.
He is the director of entrepreneurship development at Africa Trust Group, the fund manager for Enygma Ventures, and former Director of Startup Grind Cape Town, Johannesburg and Luaska.
Sandras has a degree in Computer Science and an MBA from UCT. He has been taught by teachers such as Dr John Demartini, Roger Hamilton and Tony Robbins. He has shared stages with Facebook and Asana co-founder Dustin Maskovitch, Youtube co-founder Steve Chen, Guy Kawasaki, Steve Blank and Clayton Christensen.
He has worked in banking, mobile payments, unit trusts, IT and education. He has been named one of the 15 tech people to follow in 2018 and 2019. He has been featured on CNBC Africa and SABC 3 and has been a mentor on SABC 1 TV programme Making Moves.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I join even if I am still coming up with ideas?
Yes! We can help you select your best ideas and test them with customers. The first Idea or solution is we come with often doesn't work, it needs to be tested with real customers and changed based on their feedback. The earlier you the join faster you learn from both customers, mentors and investors. They key thing is your commitment to do the work.
2. How long is the Startup Launch Program?
The programme is 12 weeks long. We've found that 12 weeks is the perfect duration for a structured programme - it doesn't feel too long or too short. With enough focus you can make real, tangible progress on your business in just 3 months.
4. I've already build businesses before, is the program for me?
If you want to make progress in a short amount of time, then the programme is for you. We have Tutorial Sessions on Tuesday evening, Office hours on Wednesday and Thursday, Pitch Practice on Fridays, then once a month we have Demo Day with investors. The structure offers accountability and ways to fast track your progress. If you like the idea of this level of support, then come on board!
5. Do I get a dedicated mentor throughout the 12 weeks
Our mission is to give you the best experience possible. We believe that when you have the same mentor the whole time, you're missing out experience and lessons from other mentors. StartupCircles has a range of mentors and we aim to connect you to the best person based on the challenge/problem/issue you want to discuss. We ask that you come prepared to make the most of your mentoring sessions.
6. Are all the sessions and pitch days virtual?
Yes they are! We serve all of Africa. The way we do this is by running our sessions over digital platforms like Zoom. The only downside of this is that you will need a good internet connection to join our sessions, and share your presentations.
7. How are you different to other Accelerators?
Most accelerators are free to join, as they have big sponsors, but have long application processes and often only accept 10-20 Startups every 4-6months. StartupCircles aims to help as many early stage entrepreneurs as possible. You can join at anytime! We accept anyone that is ready to do the work. You start now, work through the online content, and join the weekly Tutorials, Office hours and start pitching on Friday already! We get you pitching and practicing from week 1, with honest, open feedback to help you move forward.
8. Which investors do we pitch in front of?
Our main investor is Enygma Ventures. Enygma Ventures has invested in StartupCircles and other startups supported by the StartupCircles team. In addition to Enygma Ventures we invite external investors to attend our Demo Days. The external investors are from a range of industries and backgrounds.
We are an online educational platform that helps professionals and aspiring individuals to succeed in their goals.