Grindstone by Knifecap

The Grindstone Accelerator is a structured entrepreneurship development programme that assists high-growth innovation-driven companies to become sustainable and fundable. Grindstone supplies 10 companies annually with knowledge, networks and funding readiness through growth measurement, gap analysis and deep interventions designed to build a foundation for growth, transfer skills, create relevant business networks and enable these companies to take advantage of market access opportunities.

Business support resources and services will include elements of training, corporate advisory, coaching, mentorship and funding. Specific interventions for each company include doing a YueDiligence assessment, building a partner universe, developing pitch decks and teaser documents, financial modelling, intellectual property assessment, strategic and financial valuation as well as populating a data room.

In addition to Knife Capital's Funding Readiness Course: Find-Make-Grow-Realise, there will be 6 x 1-day workshops over the year...

  1. Culture & Strategy
  2. Sales & Marketing
  3. Market Positioning & Messaging
  4. IP, Product & Technical
  5. Finance, Valuation and Exit
  6. Legal compliance & HR

Through Grindstone, Knife Capital forms long-term partnerships with scale-up entrepreneurs for a shared upside. The business model is a combination of a capital growth incentive from investing in some participating companies cultivated through the programme (on arm's-length funding terms), and market-related transaction fees if third party investment is secured. Programme partners contribute in services, time and sponsorship. Partners include ENS Africa, FNB Business, M&C Saatchi Abel, Microsoft BizSpark, Innovo Networks, MPULL Marketing, Mike Joubert, Creative CFO and Rosewood DD.

Grindstone 3

Grindstone Apply Here

Applications are now open (deadline 31 Aug 2016).

Grindstone 2

In January 2015, 12 participating companies joined Grindstone and in just 1 year achieved the following results:

  • Average growth of 64% year-on-year revenue;
  • Addition of R65 million in revenue across the companies;
  • Creation of 77 new, direct jobs across the companies;
  • 21% increase in YueDiligence score (measuring key business fundamentals as a platform for growth);
  • Expectation of 72% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the next 3 years compared to 49% going in;
  • 11% increase in efficiency measured by average revenue generated per employee.
  • Many of the companies raised investment.
  • Click here for an article on the results

Grindstone 1

Between July 2013 and July 2014, the 10 Grindstone SMEs:

  • Created 43 new direct jobs;
  • Added R43 million in revenue across the ten companies;
  • Grew by 61% year-on-year in revenue;
  • Increased their number of key customers by 120%;
  • Doubled their company valuations on average;
  • Increased their mastering of business fundamentals index by 20% - from 65% to 78%.

While not all companies joined Grindstone in pursuit of funding, 7 out of 10 companies entered into discussions with potential investors because of opportunities that arose for synergies to accelerate growth; and Stellenbosch-based iKubu was acquired by Garmin. Click here for the infographic. Why the iKubu / Garmin Exit is Extra-Special!