Lagos based 440.ng is one of the wave of accelerators that have hit the coast of Lagos in a bid to harness the vibrant energy of Nigerian internet and technology entrepreneurs. The platform is a joint venture between L5Lab and 88Mph and looks to invest between $20,0000 and $110,000 in pre-revenue startups as well as post-revenue startups looking to scale their businesses through outside investment and strategic support.
Admittance into the programme also gives the startups access to a co-working space and a three-month mentorship programme.
To this end, 440ng has announced the recruitment a star-studded mentor faculty for its maiden accelerator cohort of 2014.
The group consists of both the usual and some unusual suspects. Konga’s Sim Shagaya, Jobberman’s Deji Adewunmi and Supermart CEO Raphael Afaedor will be mentoring the startups alongside Interswitch boss Mitchell Elegbe, Afam Edozie, venture capitalist and former CMO of MTN Nigeria, Tomi Hudonu, country manager of Cheki Nigeria and Jay Alabraba, co-founder of Paga.
According to L5Lab’s Chika Nwobi, besides capital, access to experienced mentors is fundamental for startups.
“These mentors have indeed been at the frontier of the evolving mobile/web industry in Nigeria. Their businesses have used mobile/web technology to scale & disrupt traditional businesses, and target African consumers. They will be a part of creating a new generation of tech giants, like themselves.” said Kresten Buch of 88MPH in an official statement.
The accelerator appears to be especially interested in founders who have corporate experience in Nigeria and want to ditch their jobs and make the entrepreneurial plunge. Applications to the 440ng startup cohort are still ongoing.
Correction, 04/07/2014: This post has been updated to correct an omission that suggested that 440NG invests only in pre-revenue startups and not also post-revenue.