NBA Africa wants to back early-stage tech startups

NBA Africa has launched Triple Double, an accelerator programme that will back African tech startups that are operating event management, ticketing, AI, and digital marketing platforms.

NBA Africa wants to back early-stage tech startups
NBA Academy Africa

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a long history in Africa. This commitment took a big leap in 2010 with the opening of their African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Fast forward to 2021, and NBA Africa was established to oversee the league's efforts on the continent. This includes managing the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a professional league now in its fourth season, content distribution, player development programs, infrastructure projects and social responsibility initiatives. Their ambitious goal? To make basketball a dominant sport in Africa within the next decade, even against the continent's current favourite, football.

However, the league is taking the game beyond the court, NBA Africa wants to invest in early-stage African tech startups via "Triple Double", a new accelerator programme.

The accelerator will be managed by ALX Ventures. Triple Double intends to offer mentorship, funding and the chance to collaborate with NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on upcoming projects. Applications are open until May 31, with a focus on innovative solutions in event management and ticketing, youth development, AI and digital marketing.

“We are thrilled to launch an accelerator program based on the continent and focused on early-stage African startups,” said NBA Africa CEO Clare Akamanzi. “This groundbreaking new initiative reflects our commitment to expanding the African sports ecosystem, and these incredible companies will be at the forefront of shaping the future of sport on the continent.”

Only 10 startups will be chosen to form the inaugural cohort. These lucky finalists will receive mentorship from NBA Africa, ALX Ventures and other industry heavyweights. Their guidance will be invaluable as the startups refine their product development, business growth, and go-to-market strategies.

In September, a Demo Day will be held in New York City, timed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly, which will see these finalists pitch to a panel of top industry leaders. The four crowned winners will not only receive financial backing and continued mentorship but also the ultimate prize: collaborating with NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on their exciting ventures across the continent.

According to NBA Africa, the winners will receive cheques ranging from $20,000 to $50,000.

Applicants for this program must be headquartered in Africa and their product or service must fall under one of the five Sports and Creative startup categories. To demonstrate a strong fit, they should have a proven track record of customer demand, evidenced by a substantial customer base and/or revenue generation, according to a statement seen by

Additionally, applicants should showcase a demonstrable impact and/or relevancy to the broader African continent, highlighting how their product or service contributes positively to the region.

Also Read: French football stars rally behind Francophone African startups

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