The Unreasonable East Africa incubator has picked 12 early-stage startups from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan to take part in its programme, with the ventures building solutions to the region’s biggest social and environmental problems.
Disrupt Africa reported in November on the launch of the programme, which is in its second year and looks to provide startups with an “unreasonable advantage” by introducing them to a large network of mentors, investors and partners. There were over 180 applications for the programme.
Twelve startups have now been selected to join the programme in July, made up of six Kenyan startups, four from Uganda and one each from Tanzania and South Sudan. The companies come from industries as diverse as agriculture, health, transportation, energy, water and financial inclusion.
The cohort is made up of Aryodi Bee Farm, Bicycles Against Poverty, Duma Works, iNuka pap, Kajo-Keji Health Training Institute, Miti Health, Natural Extracts Industries, Ojay Greene, Skynotch Energy Africa, SPOUTS of Water, Totohealth and Yield Uganda.
The startups are now launching campaigns on the incubator’s crowdfunding platform the Unreasonable Marketplace to raise the tuition they need to attend the programme.
“While we still face many challenges in East Africa, these entrepreneurs are piloting and implementing models to tackle these challenges head on,” said Joachim Ewechu, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Unreasonable East Africa.
“Their businesses are creating a new economy which builds hope for a bright future in the face of all the obstacles that we may face. We are honoured and excited to work with them and urge you to support them to raise the tuition they need by donating to your favorite companies on the Unreasonable Marketplace. This is our opportunity to create jobs, combat poverty and improve access to basic services through the private sector.”
The chosen startups had to demonstrate how they were leveraging the power of business to solve social and environmental problems such as poverty, inequality, global warming, lack of access to health care and education and many others. They also had to prove they were financially sustainable ventures that are innovating new technologies, transforming systems and pioneering new ways of thinking.
During the programme, the startups will live under the same roof for five weeks, attending workshops on personal and entrepreneurial skill development and receiving hands‐on guidance from over 50 mentors and relationship building opportunities with dozens of potential investors.
Unreasonable East Africa last year worked with 12 entrepreneurs from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, with those startups having since gone on to raise over US$2.6 million in funding.