2nd Call for Applications: MKI Maritime Accelerator 2020

  1. About Moses Kotane Institute

The Moses Kotane Institute is an entity of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Provincial Government through the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), with a mandate to conduct world class research into training, skills development, and provincial strategic economic sectors; to strategically lead on innovation and maritime coordination and implementation activities to respond to the needs of provincial economy. MKI is calling for entries for the 2020 Moses Kotane Institute Maritime Accelerator. The MKI Maritime Accelerator is aimed at maritime start-ups that are majority-owned by women operating in KwaZulu-Natal with the possibility of scaling globally.

  1. Programme Information

Twenty-five (25) entrepreneurs will be chosen for this 24-months programme designed to support participants with the business modelling and growth strategy required to scale their enterprises, become investment ready and develop entrepreneurial leadership. The programme will cover:

  • Marketing and Branding
  • Systems Thinking Framework
  • Access to Finance
  • Access to Markets
  • Growth Strategy
  • Financing for scale
  • Pitch training
  1. Programme Eligibility Criteria

Businesses must be:

  • Maritime Sector;
  • In operation for less than three years;
  • Revenue generating (even if not yet profitable);
  • Scalable and innovative ventures;
  • In operation for not less than three years; and
  • seeking investment or funding to grow.

The business must be represented by at least two participants from the same entity of which one must be the co-founder.

  1. Salient Dates:

Applications Closing Date        : 28 February 2020

Selections Announcement       : 05 March 2020

Induction Workshop                  : 10-12 February 2020

  1. Application Procedure

Application is a three-step process:

Step 1: Simply complete the MKI Maritime Accelerator Application form, accessible at www.moseskotaneinstitute.com.

Step 2: On request from Moses Kotane Institute, if shortlisted, complete the Maritime Accelerator Questionnaire.

Step 3: If you receive an Offer Letter, simply sign and e-mail the Acceptance Letter to [email protected]

Due to expected numbers, we may correspond with only shortlisted applicants.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
What is MKI Maritime Accelerator?


MKI Maritime Accelerator is a leading seed accelerator for maritime start-ups, offering a structured suite of business development services to selected start-ups so they can grow their businesses and become sustainable.
What are we looking for?


MKI Maritime Accelerator invests resources in and accelerates maritime start-ups that are majority-owned by women (preferable) operating in KwaZulu-Natal with the possibility of scaling globally. Start-ups that apply should be able to benefit from intensive mentoring from some of the maritime industry’s best minds.
What do we offer? Programme: MKI Maritime Accelerator is a 24-months, in-person mentorship-based programme for early to seed-stage companies designed to help a high potential company develop its business with access to a top-tier network.


Professional Services:  Start-ups will receive a suite of professional services including:

·         Accounting and Tax;

·         Intellectual Property;

·         Marketing and Branding;

·         Management Consulting; and

·         Personal Development.


Funding Access: Start-ups will receive intensive, structured fund-raising assistance to raise initial seed funding and growth funding. N.B. Moses Kotane Institute doesn’t provide the funding, the programme is designed to assist in accessing funding from suitable institutions, subject to the institute’s funding criteria being met.


Network: Our start-ups gain access to our extensive network of mentors, investors, and advisors from leading firms in Maritime, Technology, Finance, Telco, Software, and Retail.

What type of commitment do you require?


MKI Maritime Accelerator’s official program lasts 24-months, during which time two (2) of your start-up team members (one of which must be the co-founder) will be expected to set-aside three days a month for attending relevant training/events/mentorship sessions.


We look for start-ups that will benefit most from cooperation with MKI Maritime Accelerator, so ongoing support and assistance should become a natural extension of our relationship over time.


MKI Maritime Accelerator is a mentor-driven accelerator. Deep and valuable mentorship can only happen in person, on an intensive three-days a month basis over the 24-months period. An in-person commitment is essential to this process.

What do you mean by mentor driven? Our program revolves around the mentors. During the first month, you will go through intense mentoring sessions with industry experts from many different businesses, including a host of c-level executives from leading companies, as well as successful business founders. You’ll then follow up continuously with those mentors who are best placed to help you expand your network and make connections you need going forward.
Will we receive training?


There will be structured, practical, action-learning training workshops in subject areas such as marketing; finance; strategy; pitching etc.


These workshops are designed in such a way that entrepreneurs are working on their businesses whilst on these workshops, applying the learning to their specific businesses.


These workshops are not academic in nature, there are no tests or examinations, rather, entrepreneurs present their work during the workshops and go and apply to their business and provide progress reports.

Do I have to pay to participate?


No. Participation in MKI Maritime Accelerator is free of charge. Moses Kotane Institute reserves the right to recoup costs should entrepreneurs drop out of the programme without following due processes.
Do you invest in start-ups? No. We assist start-ups in assessing funding from suitable institutions, provided the start-ups meet the funding criteria.
I’m a single founder. Can I still apply?


In rare cases, we select solo founders. However, most of our start-ups have a founding team. A founding team is not only important for you as a company, but it is vital for the MKI Maritime Accelerator programme, which is far too demanding for a typical single founder alone.
I’m not located in KwaZulu-Natal; can I still apply? The MKI Maritime Accelerator is for residents of KwaZulu-Natal. Proof of physical address will be required.