SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town based venture builder Akro, which focuses on building and scaling high-growth startups, has picked eight South African startups for the second edition of its accelerator program.

In line with the SA SME Fund’s objectives to support and fund more black African entrepreneurs, the accelerator sought to have just over half of the places in each cohort filled by startups with black African founders. Six of the startups selected for this, the second cohort have black African founders.

The eight startups include, HotNozzle – a startup that has developed a battery powered portable showerhead that heats up cold water. No electricity is needed. The device’s inventor is Thamsanqa Hoza, who is originally from the Free State who (along with Bokamoso Molale) invented the Hot Nozzle.

Parkupp – this allows property owners who have vacant parking spots, to list these to make extra income by renting these out to members of the public. The Johannesburg based startup’s platform was founded by Palesa Moloi and Michael Savvides in 2016.

Skudu – this merges deep farming know-how with cloud computing, helping farmers to optimise fertiliser application globally. The Paarl based startup was founded in 2017 by Cobus van der Merwe, Daniel Novitzkas, Andries Stofberg and Kevin Cuthbert.

WallFly – is a mobile app that turns your smartphone into an acoustic sensor that monitors the ambient loudness around one, to help modulate the level of music at ones party. The app was developed by Cape Town musician and sound engineer Petrus Theron last year.

Float – a digital marketplace that facilitates peer-to-peer rentals of specialised items. The startup was founded by Njinu Kumani, Victoria Muwanga Zake, Tebogo Mokwena and Kweku Quansah.

Halo Rides (Angel Cabs) – was founded by Julie Mkhonta, is looking to become a comprehensive women-only-driven e-hailing service targeting women riders.

Gidö – a mobile platform that allows travellers to create and book a private day tour as well as activities on demand. The Cape Town based company’s smart algorithm populates a list of the most relevant guides for users to choose from. The startup was founded by Brandon Tshabalala and Mark Brijder.

OpenCharge – a Cape Town based company founded by Phebeon and Denys Vera that wants to make it easier to transform everyday surfaces into wireless charging spots.

The second iteration of the program will offer a deeply-focused, intense period of strategizing, creating and executing geared to immerse participants in the practical realities of running a business.