Digital Start-Ups Are Growing – And Quickly

Introduced in South Africa 24 months ago, Accelerator is a programme run through the Entrepreneurs' Organisation and has been successfully operating globally for more than 12 years.


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

These businesses have seen a gap in the market

Digital Start-Ups

The old adage goes that entrepreneurs are born not made, but this myth has been busted with a programme that is helping start-ups to take their fast-growing businesses to the next level.

Introduced in South Africa 24 months ago, Accelerator is a programme run through the Entrepreneurs' Organisation and has been successfully operating globally for more than 12 years.

"While financial growth is important and one of the measures of success we have also seen the entrepreneurs grow personally," explains Walter Penfold, EO Accelerator Chair.

"Personal growth and perspectives from other business owners enables entrepreneurs to think strategically about the future of their business; how to break into new markets; secure partnerships or funding that will take their businesses forward."

Successful entrepreneurs who have come through the programme are tech-based businesses that are using digital technologies to disrupt conventional business models.

In the fintech, health and education space. These businesses have seen a gap in the market and are deploying digital solutions to solve everyday issues.

Arlene Mulder and Camille Agon, co-founders of WeThinkCode

Trains and develops skilled and talented software engineers for corporates.

"Going through the Accelerator programme together as co-founders enabled us to work on our strategy together. We learnt to have the confidence to scale our business and we will be opening a campus in Cape Town at the end of this year and have seen 240% revenue growth in the last year."

Allison Martin, founder of UDoTest

Provides self-testing for STD's, cervical cancer and colon cancer without doctor's visits has seen a 30% growth since joining Accelerator.

"The most important thing I have learnt during the Accelerator programme is the powerful perspective you get when you surround yourself with entrepreneurs that share their insights and experiences. It has enabled me to manage my business better," says Martin.

Ryan Canin, Co-Founder of DocFox

A web-application which automates compliance in FICA allowing financial services firms to seamlessly on-board clients in a matter of minutes attributes the success of the Accelerator programme to being incredibly focused.

"I realise that you can't get distracted by opportunities which are not on your critical path. I have become ruthless with my time and only work on what drives value given our business direction," he says.

Ryan Sauer, founder of Punk Media

Which provides digital media buying services and has grown by more than 100% year on year for three years consecutively. "During the programme, I learnt many other entrepreneurs are going through very similar issues to my business regardless of what they do. Whether it is people, cash flow or positioning to name a few. Knowing you are not alone and have a core group of people to share business and personal events in your life makes the experience of being in EO Accelerator all the richer," says Sauer.

Sven Reinersten, founder of Jawbone

Core to the programme is the peer-to-peer engagement which is set up through Accountability Groups and through which participants meet on a regular basis to share experiences and work on common business challenges.

While not in the digital space, a growth success story comes from Sven Reinersten. He has seen a 700% increase in profits in his experiential events business.

"The Accelerator programme enabled me to build a business around our culture and accountability, with a focus on innovation and clinical execution. I am now working on my business and not in my business," says Reinersten.

Entrepreneurs Organisation
EO is the only global network exclusively for entrepreneurs. EO helps leading entrepreneurs learn and grow through peer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and connections to experts.

Related Topics


How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.


7 Inspiring Traits of Compassionate Leadership

Teams thrive when the members trust the leader cares about them.


How Great Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Win During Economic Downturns

Recessions are an opportunity to recalibrate and make great strides in your business while others are unprepared to brave the challenges. Here's how great entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success despite economic uncertainty.

Business News

Get Wired

On the road, in the office or somewhere in between? Here's how to stay connected.

Business News

Wired Guides

Take a tour online before you travel.