February 8, 2023
04 Keet Van Zyl and Andrea Bohmert 1

The goal of the Grindstone program is to help fast-growing, innovative small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) become self-sufficient and financially stable. Through growth measurement, gap analysis, and deep interventions, Grindstone gives each cohort the knowledge, networks, and funding readiness they need to build a solid foundation for growth, transfer skills, create relevant business networks, and take advantage of market access opportunities throughout the year-long program.

The Grindstone Accelerator has become a well-established, organized entrepreneurship development program to help businesses with fast growth and a focus on innovation become more stable and able to raise money.

Grindstone gives 20 businesses the growth assessment, gap analysis, and deep interventions they need to build a growth foundation, transfer skills, build the right business networks, and take advantage of opportunities to get into new markets.

Some many tools and services can help you run your business. Some examples are training, corporate consulting, coaching, mentoring, and financing. Interventions that are specific to a company include a due diligence analysis, the creation of a partner universe, the creation of a pitch deck and a teaser document, financial modeling, the evaluation of the intellectual property, a strategic and financial appraisal, and the filling of a data room.

Through the Grindstone Programme, long-term partnerships are made with scale-up businesses that are good for both sides.

How it Works

GrindstoneXL program

In the GrindstoneXL program, participants spend nine months learning, scaling, and growing to become highly fundable.

Their disassembled due diligence covers the following areas: value proposition, delivery methods, price, customer acquisition and retention, intellectual property, human resource management, finance, and governance systems.

Putting more attention on the basics of a business is meant to make scale-ups more appealing to investors. Every year, they put out a call for people to join, and hundreds of people do, but they can only accept up to twenty. Now is the time to act if you have a growing business that is ready to grow.

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Sponsorships

Grindstone has several shows and broadcasts every year. Companies and donors can change the way they sponsor one or more streams to meet their own goals. There is a starting price for sponsorship, plus extras like free consultations, mentorship, workspace, conference rooms, etc.

Corporate Programmes

Corporations can use their budgets for innovation, business development, and skill development to help fund the unique programs that their supply chains think will be best for the success of both the corporations and the entrepreneurs whose businesses they help. Grindstone makes changes to each student’s course of study.

Online Academy

In their online academy, you can choose from short, easy-to-understand modules on topics like company culture and strategy, sales and marketing, market positioning and messaging, intellectual property and products, financial valuation and exit strategies, human resources, and legal compliance. Video lectures and other online resources make it easy to study on your own time.

FMGR Course

This interactive, case-study-based course will teach business owners and those who help them how to start and grow a business and give them the tools they need to look for and get financing.

Donor Funding

Donors can use the money they set aside for entrepreneurship training in any way they want. Donor-funded programs benefit a lot from close monitoring, evaluation, and reporting that is tailored to each participant.

Assessments

A complete view of both the entrepreneur and the business is needed for long-term success. They use a lot of different tests to figure out where the company and the entrepreneur got their start.

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Founders

Andrea Bӧhmert

Andrea Bӧhmert

Andrea has been successful both as a business owner and as an investor.

After being in charge of Corporate Strategy for Siemens Southern Africa, she was put in charge of a software sales team at Dimension Data.

She started investing after trying her hand at business on her own and raising R350 million for the Hass Plattner Ventures Africa Fund.

She cares a lot about the growth of the ecosystem and is involved in several projects that help companies start up.

Additionally, She advises big companies like Google and IBM that they need to do more business in Africa.

Keet van Zyl

Keet is a very skilled investment professional. He has worked for a long time in both the banking industry and the growing equity investing industry.

He has a lot of experience in finance because he worked for Procter & Gamble and Investec Bank, two of the best companies in the world.

He helped set up several Private Equity funds in Southern Africa before joining HBD VentureCapital.

He helped start KnifeCap in 2010 so that HBD’s South African assets could be actively managed and so that South Africa’s high-growth investment business could grow.

He likes to waterski, and in 2005, he added the adrenaline rush of accounting to the routine of extreme sports. As a result, he became the first “Extreme Accounting” world champion.

Catherine Young

Catherine Young, managing partner of Grindstone Ventures,

Investors & Funding Rounds

SA SME Fund

To expand its reach, Grindstone Accelerator has made deals with Google for Startups and Deloitte to work together, and the SA SME Fund gave it a ZAR25 million (US$1.5 million) investment.

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Knife Capital, which is in charge of Grindstone, wants to grow its business a lot with the help of the funding and partnerships it has found. It will double the number of scale-up businesses it helps, put its learning content online, and start annual programs in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. This will increase the number of scale-up businesses it helps by 60%.

The SA SME Fund is giving the next 60 Grindstone businesses preferential financing help to help them get over the early growth gaps. Knife Capital, along with other finance vehicles supported by the SA SME Fund, can help the company grow by giving it more expansion capital on commercial terms.

Main Competitors

Clarivate Analytics: It sped up the rate of innovation by giving reliable insights and data.

EnviroKure, Incorporated: It is biotechnology that is changing the way things are done improves the health of the soil, and may reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, all while boosting plant growth and production.

Penn Medicine Co-Investment Program: Through the Penn Medicine Co-Investment Program, money is put into companies led by Penn Medicine researchers that work on cell therapy, gene therapy, and other health-related projects.

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