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Grindstone Africa

Introducing Grindstone Africa, our online business accelerator program.

As a seed fund and accelerator founded in South Africa, we take our responsibility towards contributing to the continent's success very seriously. We work with partners and funders across Africa to be stronger together and build a prosperous Africa for future generations.

After several successful programmes in Mauritius, Kenya, Egypt, and Tanzania, the Grindstone Africa business accelerator was launched as part of our growing African focus, bringing together startups from across the continent for our annual cohort. We work with local partners across our geographies to deliver the best possible acceleration programmes, build a pipeline for future funding opportunities and contribute to the success of startups in our ecosystem.

The Grindstone vision is to empower startups in Africa and across the globe and to create global connections from Africa to the rest of the world. 

The goal

To help up to 20 startups grow and expand their business locally, regionally, and internationally through our annual online growth engineering programme.


Our Grindstone accelerators are funded by our sponsorship partners and provided free of charge to eligible participants. The availability of this opportunity may vary depending on the location of the accelerator and whether it involves an investment in the Grindstone Ventures Fund. Investing in the fund provides partial ownership in the portfolio and allows you to gain valuable experience in angel investing.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to be the first to hear when the registrations open for the next Grindstone Africa business accelerator.

Our partners include:

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Who is the GIA Cape Town Accelerator for

High-growth tech startups and enterprises ready to scale with a minimum of 30% Singaporean ownership are interested in expanding their operations into the South African market and potentially across Africa. Founders must have the capacity to attend a residency week in Cape Town, presenting their business to potential clients or strategic partners.

What is GIA

The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is a joint initiative between Enterprise SG and the Singapore Economic Development Board. It brings together a network of Singaporean and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, focusing on technology and innovation.
Learn more about the Global Innovation Alliance

When does the programme start

We will begin the first cohort once we have a selection of startups and enterprises who wish to join the GIA Cape Town Accelerator. The course begins with an online assessment completed in the first week, with the residency week and market introductions tailored to the participating company's schedule and interest.

Programme outline

Our accelerator is designed to help companies with market introductions and entry. We customize the program to fit the unique needs of each participating company based on their growth stage, expansion goals, and availability. This customization allows us to tailor market introductions and potential partnerships to each company's needs, and starting dates may vary accordingly.

We welcome all Singapore startups and enterprises keen to explore the South African market as a launchpad into Africa!

Why choose the GIA Cape Town accelerator

We're focused on providing you with access to new market opportunities. We want to hear from you if you have a business ready to expand into Africa. We have a network of partners in South Africa and Africa looking for innovative companies in Singapore to connect with. Think of us as your sales agent or market access partner in Africa.

How long is the course, and how much time does it consume

The GIA Cape Town programme is eight weeks long, with further access to market opportunities for up to six months after completion. You must be able to join a coaching or mentoring session every week (each session is an hour), which will match your company with a leading mentor, industry expert, seasoned entrepreneur or other professional as required. You are also obliged to attend the residency week in Cape Town, which will comprise workshops, networking sessions and in-person introductions to strategic partners and potential clients.

What are the costs

S$2500 (excluding travel costs to South Africa), split over two payments. The first payment is S$1500 on signing the contract, and the remaining S$ 1000 is payable upon completion of your market visit/residency week in South Africa (where at least three potential market entry introductions are guaranteed).

Who is the coach

Our chief coach, Cameron Burt, leads the coaching journey by identifying market gaps through assessments, understanding your business, and providing access to markets in Cape Town and beyond. Cameron is a business coach, consultant, analyst and entrepreneur who has founded five companies and successfully exited three. He helps with leadership development, strategy, management planning and exits. With an MBA from Stirling University, hands-on experience, and an array of world-class and proven tools, he helps entrepreneurs address business gaps to build measurable and sustainable value.

What does the GIA Cape Town Accelerator offer

We address the fundamental needs of a startup or enterprise ready to scale:

The GIA Cape Town accelerator focuses on knowledge, networks, and markets identified as needs for Singapore enterprises looking to expand their business into South Africa and beyond.


We aim to help enterprises ready to scale, grow and expand into new markets by providing effective interventions and strategies that increase revenue and returns. We achieve this by identifying startups or enterprises ready to scale with proven traction and potential, supporting them with the right resources, and helping them access market and funding opportunities. Our practical, hands-on approach includes the following:

  • Top coaches and mentors who provide exceptional guidance and support.
  • Highly curated course materials.
  • Robust platform with clearly defined plans for each business and effective tracking methods.
  • Automation tools to enhance the learning experience and streamline processes.



We collaborate with the best ecosystem partners around the globe to ensure the success of the startups and enterprises ready to scale in every Grindstone accelerator. Through our extensive network, we:

  • Attract the most promising startups and enterprises ready to scale to the programme, which benefits their growth and provides positive PR and exposure for the companies and our sponsors.
  • Leverage our funding networks to identify potential funding sources through allocating funds, where required.
  • Tap into the power of market networks to provide market access opportunities.


We have a robust and effective market access plan, including a reliable partner value chain that presents valuable startup partnerships and opportunities. As part of our programme, we offer: 

  • Go-to-Market (GTM) introductions to help businesses establish themselves in the market.
  • GTM readiness, with all the necessary resources and strategies to scale.
Why do I need to do an assessment

Each small business is at a different stage in its life cycle, and entrepreneurs have different gaps in their management skillset. A baseline assessment at the programme's start highlights what skills and capabilities need to be developed and informs each participant's learning pathway.

Once your eligibility for the programme is confirmed, you will be asked to complete this assessment.

What is needed from me during the programme

After the detailed assessment (which takes how long), where we identify your market gaps (at any stage of the business lifecycle), we provide bespoke interventions and solutions to help you address these gaps. Apart from this, we need to fully understand your product or service to ensure that we connect you with the right people to partner with in South Africa and beyond into Africa.

What do I get by the end of the programme

Participants who complete the GIA Cape Town accelerator programme get a certificate of completion. However, you're more concerned with business results. Participants in previous Grindstone programmes say that their businesses increased their competitiveness, improved operational efficiency, and attained new prospects for growth. With GIA Cape Town, our focus is on market readiness and access. With at least three introductions to potential strategic partners or clients, you'll have new business opportunities in South Africa and beyond.

What do networking opportunities include

We will host networking events and meetups connecting you with the other Singaporean companies in the programme and our African ecosystem partners. These are in addition to your guaranteed introductions to strategic market partners.

What professional services are provided

We connect you with SA-based professional services that form part of our network based on your company's unique needs. These professional services include accounting, legal, finance, sales and marketing experts or seasoned entrepreneurs who can help you expand.

Other Grindstone regions

Grindstone South Africa

Introducing the pioneering startup accelerator Grindstone South Africa.

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UK and Channel Islands

Introducing Grindstone UK & Channel Islands, an effective accelerator of innovation.

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