Ghanaian crowdfunding startup SliceBiz plans to expand its services to benefit other entrepreneurs with the cash prize it has been awarded in the annual Apps4Africa Business Challenge competition.
“Hundreds of startup founders can’t access credit from banks and other financial institutions,” the SliceBiz competition entry explained.
Service extensions include 30-second recorded phone pitches to connect entrepreneurs and possible investors.
Funding of smaller amounts will also be transferable through a mobile app to support selected projects, while larger investments ( between US$250 and US$10,000) will be traditionally transacted.
“People all over the world with some disposable income are about to see how they can deploy their funds to better use,” the company claims.
Businessman William Edem Senyo, with a banking and non-profit project background in Ghana, and Heather Cochran, a Californian social worker, started the business with the goal to alter the crowdfunding model for local use.
“Less than three months ago no one would have been able to convince me that I would quit my job, find a great partner, start a possibly disruptive company, and to top that win Apps4Africa,” Senyo told the BBC.
Online enterprises like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe were successful with the implementation of the model.
Accra-based SlizeBiz’s edge lies in offering clients a business stake as a reward for money received.
Future developments include capital raising, additional matchmaking fees and a New York launch, though they still await the governmental go-ahead from Ghana officials.
The startup also won first place at the Global Entrepreneurs Weekend in Accra, Ghana, in 2012.
Financially supported by the United States State Department and the World Bank,Apps4Africa awarded US$10,000 to three outstanding entries, with the possibilities of further funding as a reward for meeting targets.
“We now want to scale the ideas past the competition to provide additional mentorship and training as well as financial resources to let the winners become successful,” said Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson, spokesperson of Appfrica Consultancy who ran the competition.
The other winners are software development enterprises Ugandan Ffene and Nigerian Prowork.