African startups selected for Swiss Kickstart Accelerator

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South African fintech startup Libryo and Ghanaian agri-tech solution Farmerline are among the 30 startups from all over the world selected to take part in the Switzerland-based multi-corporate, zero-equity Kickstart Accelerator.

More than 1,500 startups applied to be part of the second cohort of the Kickstart Accelerator, which is an initiative of digitalswitzerland and operated by Impact Hub Zurich.

A total of 30 startups have now been selected to take part in the 11-week programme later this year, across four verticals – fintech, food, smart cities and robotics, and intelligent systems. This came after 60 startups were shortlisted to take part in a two-day selection bootcamp in Zurich.

The selected companies, which come from 15 countries, include South Africa’s Libryo, which enables any person working in any organisation to understand their legal obligations in any situation, and Ghana’s Farmerline, which connects small-scale farmers to information services, products and resources to improve their incomes.

“It’s great to see applications from so many countries, wanting to build, challenge and scale their businesses here in the Swiss innovation ecosystem”, said Patricia Schlenter, programme manager at the Kickstart Accelerator. “What I am particularly excited about is that 13 out of 30 startups at the Kickstart Accelerator have at least one woman as founder.”

Kickstart Accelerator offers startup-friendly benefits packages, taking no equity, providing funding and giving startups access to some of the best known corporates locally and internationally, such as AXA Winterthur, Swisscom and PwC.

Dr Christian Westermann, leader for data and analytics and a partner at PwC Switzerland, said artificial intelligence and the further development of robotics will lead to long-lasting changes in our world, at a speed never seen before.

“We are very pleased to leverage our global network to support the most promising startups and give them the opportunity to actively shape these exciting market developments,” he said.

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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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