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MyAfricanStartUp 100 : Methodology & selection criteria - HEC Junior Conseil

Under the supervision of MyAfricanStartUp’s founder HEC Junior Conseil has been in charge of recruiting the team, drafting the pre-selection of innovative startups and writing the 100 company descriptions for the selected startups.

Could you explain the process of the study you have conducted for MyAfricanStartUp

Regarding its scale and international dimension this study has been a real challenge for HEC Junior Conseil. No less than eight students with a strong interest for Africa have worked on it during eight months. Our first task was to create a data base of qualified startups and submit it to the judging panel. The latter selected 100 of them after what we had to find and contact suitable persons in order to gather some piece of information thanks to a questionnaire. Lastly, thanks to the collected data, we redacted and formatted the 100 company descriptions in both languages: French & English.

What criteria did you & myAfricanStartUp chose for this selection?

First of all we decided on purpose to draw a representative selection of the continent. Thus and except for a few exceptions, the selected companies are based in a wide range of african countries and cash in less than 1M € turnover. Although we have not reviewed any business plan we commit ourselves to asses the relevance of the offer brought up regarding to the targeted market to that extent the companies displayed in this booklet are innovative in several fields: Fintech, Telecom, Biotech & health, Edtech, services, Agribusiness, Cleantech …

Finally we have sorted the companies according to their maturity level :

  1. Idea: first stage of development and test of the idea
  2. Seed: young companies that have been able to to deploy an offer, currently finalizing their strategic positioning
  3. Growth: these companies have managed in proving their concept, and already generate significant income
  4. Mature: stands for startups with a good business model, and a high potential product on a well identified market.

Could you expand on the selection process applied by your team?

Due to several limiting factors selecting these 100 startups turned out to be a true methodological challenge:

Consequently we have used several information source to establish country databases for our preselection: VCs pitch book, the Lelapafund database, the startups list accessible on VC4A.com, several startups prices throughout the continent, startup incubators and press articles

What was the questionnaire sent to the entrepreneurs for ?

Inspired from the questionnaire of ingressing to the HEC startups incubator, it provided the opportunity to benchmark the startups according to the BizEval © evaluation model. This model allows to get a synoptic overview of a company according to four main criteria:

  1. The offer brought up by the startup and its targeted market
  2. The activity and competitive advantages of the startup
  3. Economic and financial statement of the startup
  4. The management style and human resources management of the startup

With a response rate of 50% we have been able to compare the startups to each other and submit a quality selection to the jury comprising HEC Paris representatives, d’Air France, Orrick, 35° Nord, Onegezafund, ECP and Lelapafund. The jury thus relied on the questionnaire to decide whether or not to accept a startup within the selection.

HEC Junior Conseil is the Junior Enterprise of HEC Paris, it is a student business association with over 45 years experience in consulting. We provide our competence in various fields such as marketing, strategy, communication and company creation … We fulfill our missions thanks to the multiple resources of HEC Paris: a pool of international talented students and professors, preferential access to a vast documentation center.