Welcome to the fourth edition of Wimbart Office Hours, a PR mentorship and business support programme designed to equip early-stage African startups with media know-how and business insights. In an enhanced offering for 2022, ecosystem leaders Ventures Platform, TechCabal, TLP Advisory, Norebase and Wowzi will deliver unmissable keynote talks as part of a bumper programme covering many facets of running a startup.
Wimbart Office Hours is a free mentorship programme targeted at early-stage startups with a focus on companies building tech solutions for Africans on the continent or the diaspora.
Applications for the fourth edition of the Wimbart Office Hours programme are now open until Friday 22nd July, 12pm BST.
20 early stage Africa focused startups will be selected by the Wimbart team to participate in the latest cohort, with successful applicants enjoying access to six exclusive webinars delivering insights and tools on a range of topics including developing successful communications plans, building relationships with journalists, communicating with investors and how to amplify press coverage. To-date, 70+ startups have gone through the programme, from over 10 countries.
The webinars will be followed by three dedicated one-on-one PR Office Hours sessions with senior members of the Wimbart team. These sessions are designed to help startups to better understand communications challenges specific to their business and discuss strategies on positioning and messaging to attract customers, investment and talent.
If you are an African tech startup building a great product or service and want to give yourself the best chance for success by honing your communications skills, this is the programme to apply for! You’ll complete the programme with a better understanding of how PR can work for your company, and how you can use communications to build your brand presence as you scale your business.
The first webinar with a Q&A session will take place week commencing 19th September.
We're looking for start-ups that
- Are less than two years old
- Focus on serving the African community (domestic and/or diaspora)
- Have turnover less than $500,000
- Have a minimum viable product [MVP]
- Ideally have a functioning website
- Have secured investment no later than a seed-level stage
What will you gain?
- Three exclusive webinars and Q&A sessions hosted by Wimbart’s Jessica Hope and partners Kola Aina, Ventures Platform and Tomiwa Aladekomo, TechCabal.
- Specialist sessions led by new partners, Odunoluwa Longe of TLP Advisory, Garth Manthe of Wowzi and Adetola Onayemi of Norebase.
- Identify the right time for PR for your business
- Understand how to craft key messages for your business
- Learn how to write and execute a successful media & communications plan
- Learn how to find journalists and gauge what they’re looking for
- 3 x 45 minute one-on-one mentoring sessions with senior Wimbart PR professionals who will answer specific questions on your company / sector / comms plan
We have been able to change our communication strategy to onboard new farmers to our portfolio. It is enjoyable for the team to see little adjustments paying off before our eyes.
Taking part in Wimbart Office Hours has really helped me prepare for the launch of the new version of our product and develop strategies to help us make a big splash! I learned some great strategies for how to write stellar press releases that will get you noticed and got some tips on how to find the right journalists and get them excited about our product.
Apart from building a brand identity, I can work towards generating earned media placement. I also have a better understanding of how to build consumer interest using different social media channels. I can't wait to put all the lessons into action.
We have managed to bring our business to the attention of potential investors and also fellow young farmers who are we are now bringing on board. We are now recognized by the county government thanks to the great PR sessions
The Office Hours programme has provided us with the skills required to proactively engage the media community in a way that improves our brand image and perception. The one-on-one mentor sessions helped us to refine our key messages and think critically about what makes us exceptional as a business and how we can project that to our audience...our business got its very first press coverage from major media outlets which has helped increase our visibility and credibility.
I think it demystified the process and instilled confidence in the team concerning PR... we got a Reuters feature and a alot of eyeballs.
Meet the Mentors
Do I need to have raised money?
No, whether you are bootstrapping or have secured angel investment, we are more interested in the viability of your product or service.
Can I apply if I have not yet built a team?
There are no requirements about the size of your team, we want to know about how you’re addressing the problem that you have identified with your product or service.
Do I need to have registered my company?
Yes, our office hours programme is geared towards companies building tech solutions for Africans on the continent or the diaspora
When is the deadline?
Applications close Friday 22nd July, 12pm BST
Do I need to pay?
When do the webinars take place?
Jessica Hope will kick off the first webinar with a Q&A session week commencing 19th September. The other two webinars will follow at weekly intervals
When will the Office Hours take place?
Office hours sessions with mentors will begin the week commencing 17th October
Can I contact Wimbart outside of the Office Hours?
Sure! Any other PR-related question can be shared with us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage our mentees to remain in touch after the programme is finished