When I started cooperating with Ulrich (Co-Founder and CTO of TEKXL), my goal was to use his great technical skills to build a visualization platform for a client. I soon realized he was more interested in big ideas and solving problems than coding. It was a match made in heaven. Soon, we were looking for the best approach to accelerate the startup scene in Africa. Our early concepts included an investment fund, an incubator, an accelerator and an idea lab. We opted for something that would combine all of the above and TEKXL was born.
TEKXL was founded to make products the world would want to use. To achieve that goal, we are developing an environment to facilitate the emergence of successful startups offering innovative, profitable and disruptive solutions for Africa and the World.
First, we identify ideas with the potential of solving problems and creating value for individuals and businesses. Second, we hire talented people to transform these ideas into products. Finally, we create startups ran by the very teams that worked on the products to take them to market.
Ideas are important in the development of successful products. We are not interested in doing what has been done. Instead, we welcome ideas that are innovative and disruptive. We trust the youthful instinct of our team members and our own experiences as founders to build pathways to solving problems and creating value where there was none.
Training is a key aspect of our model. We have to introduce our recruits to the advanced technologies and practices necessary to develop successful products. By hiring dynamic and talented young people, we are able to move very quickly in covering new concepts in design, coding and marketing. Most of our training is done on the job.
Teamwork is the foundation of our model. Our objective as stated previously is to hire talented young people to develop new products and then let them manage the startups resulting from what they created. This requires building solid teams, including the right combination of core people, skills and temperaments. It is a challenging feat for one startup, let alone the 3 per location that we strive to generate every year. We embrace that challenge because we have a program to identify, train and mentor young people. We pay team members competitive salaries and provide funding to cover operating and marketing expenses until startups go to market. In addition, team members get equity that will vest over a period of four years, provided they stay until maturation.
On average, we invest $30,000 USD for the development of each product/startup. When our startups graduate from the accelerator and go to market, we help them secure additional investments from various sources.
We currently have 3 teams working at ETRILABS in Cotonou (Benin). We are finalizing plans for 3 other locations in 2015. In mid-February 2015, we will open our Abidjan (Cote D’Ivoire) location and by the end of the same year, we will begin operations in Dakar (Senegal) and Lagos (Nigeria).
We welcome your contribution and input. Talents interested in joining us can submit their resumes on our website. We also welcome inquiries from investors and ideas for great products. We invite you to try our current products and help us improve them with your constructive feedback.
Senam Beheton Co Founder and CEO TEKXL