Cascador, a ground-breaking program helping mid-stage African entrepreneurs grow their businesses and improve their leadership skills by working with successful American and Nigerian entrepreneurs, has announced program details and the opening of 2021 applications.
Cascador, launched in 2019 and now in its third year, has elevated two successful cohorts of entrepreneurs and their companies through a unique blend of education, mentoring, pitch training and personalized support.
Dave DeLucia, US-based biotech entrepreneur, Cascador Co-Founder, and CEO of Immunext, shared, “Preliminary coaching in business fundamentals precedes an intensive week of in-person training, sharing and practice. After the live program at Lagos Business School November 1st through 5th concludes, we follow up with 6 months of post-program mentoring and quarterly group learning sessions. It’s a formula designed to turbo-charge small businesses and make a powerful impact on their leaders personally.”
Explaining the focus of Cascador and how it differs from traditional startup accelerators in Africa, Chidi Okoro, Cascador Faculty and former Managing Director of GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria, said, “We consciously target mid-stage entrepreneurs who have a track record of sales and fundraising. This subset of business owners are often neglected in the landscape of support programs and tools, yet they have proven successes, the ability to rapidly scale, and the potential to transform the economy of Nigeria – and beyond.”
Cascador participants are mid-stage entrepreneurs with at least 2 years in operation. They should have annual revenue from sales that exceeds $50,000 USD per year, or have raised at least $250,000 USD of capital.
This is the second year that Lagos Business School will host the Cascador program on campus.
Sharing the impetus behind a partnership between Cascador and one of the pre-imminent business schools in the world, Dr. Chris Ogbechie, Dean at Lagos Business School, shared, “Education at LBS is comprehensive, participant-centered, and grounded in the case study method. Our educational environment already draws on the experiences of a multinational faculty, so the framework of Cascador aligns with our educational philosophy, and, more importantly, the Cascador vision supports our goal of fostering business leaders with strong ethics, professionalism and management skills.”
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Cascador’s emphasis on mid-stage entrepreneurs is unique amongst business acceleration programs in Nigeria. Mid-size companies are often too advanced to benefit from start-up resources, yet lack access to advisory support and capital that is available to large enterprises.
Ayoade Oyedotun, Co-Founder of Afrimash, Nigeria’s leading agricultural eCommerce marketplace, discussed the impact of his Cascador experience. “The Cascador program in November 2020 was life-changing for me. We hit the ground running in January 2021 with a record 5.8x month-over-month revenue increase. Only six months after Cascador, we have made much more progress than in previous years. The benefit of the program went far beyond the unrivaled business training. The quality and caliber of the Cascador fellows, faculty, and mentors, and their network, has taken my business to a whole new phase.”
The 2021 Cascador program will be hosted at Lagos Business School in Lagos, Nigeria from November 1-5, 2021. Participation is limited to 12 entrepreneurs, and the deadline to apply for this year’s cohort is July 15th.
About the Cascador Program
Cascador is an annual, no-cost program focused on business scale and designed for mid-stage African entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and their interpersonal skills by working with successful American and Nigerian entrepreneurs from a wide range of industry sectors, backgrounds and geographic locations. Interested applicants, partners, sponsors and prospective faculty can learn more and contact the Cascador team at www.cascador.org.