Village Capital, Gearbox announce 10 startups for hardware accelerator

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Village Capital and Kenyan makerspace Gearbox have announced the 10 African startups that will take place in their Nairobi-based hardware accelerator, after which two companies will walk away with US$50,000 each in funding.

Disrupt Africa reported in August Village Capital and Gearbox, along with partners the Lemelson Foundation, the DOEN Foundation, SGII, and VC4Africa, had announced their first hardware focused accelerator programme, inviting applications from hardware startups across Africa.

The programme will consist of three intensive four-day sessions to be held in Kenya, during which participants will receive extensive feedback from their peers, potential customers, investors and industry experts to help scale their businesses. The first workshop will be held later this month, while others will follow in January and February next year.

Two startups will be selected by their peers to secure US$50,000 each at the end of the accelerator. Village Capital recently explained to Disrupt Africa why peer-selection is the best model for investing.

The selected startups include Nigerian startups ColdHubs, which builds modular, solar-powered walk-in cold rooms for off-grid storage and preservation of perishable foods, and Hello Tractor, an agri-tech startup focused on improving access to affordable farm mechanisation for the rural poor, as well as Ghana’s Enyinam Tech, whose products include a digital turbine and power system that can take domestic properties and industries completely off-grid.

South Africa’s Leaper Innovative Green Energies (LIGE) is also part of the cohort, with its disruptive renewable power storage technology, while Rwanda is represented by Smart Solar Kiosk (ARED), which has developed a mobile solar kiosk to offer an income generating business solution for people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Five Kenyan startups complete the cohort, namely agri-tech startup LishaBora Hydroponics, M2M pay-as-you-go gas delivery startup PayGo Energy, solar roofing firm Strauss Energy, agri-tech backhaul inventory solution Sure Telematics, and soil testing device UjuziKilimo.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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