University of Texas – Austin visits 88mph in SA

Students from the University of Texas business school in Austin, United States, who are also working professionals, visited startup accelerator 88mph in Cape Town today to learn about emerging markets.

Following an introduction to the workings of an African accelerator programme, the 65 students heard pitches from some of the startups which have been based in the Woodstock officers.

Speaking to HumanIPO Doug Dierking, a senior lecturer at the University of Texas, said: “South Africa seems to be our best entry point to understanding Africa to a certain extent.

“We have a trip going to Ghana for the first time in about a week, but we’ve found South Africa to be a good entrée to the continent, its a good place for us to go.”

Furthermore Dierking said the University of Texas is conscious about safety and is “risk averse”, thus Nigeria is not on their list of African countries to visit for reasons of safety.

The students are young entrepreneurs who are going into jobs or startups and have been working with people from around the world and with virtual teams.

“We want to give them a broad sense of understanding… [the] global environment and we want to give them specific exposure to markets in different areas so that they spend a little time on the ground, actually in the market,” said Dierking.

He added he was in the country last year with approximately 30 students, four of which returned to South Africa on assignments.

Today marked the last day of the students’ trip to South Africa.

Posted in: Startups

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