Village Capital and Kenyan makerspace Gearbox have announced their first hardware focused accelerator programme, inviting applications from hardware startups across Africa for the chance to secure US$50,000 in funding.
The programme – run in collaboration with the Lemelson Foundation, the Doen Foundation, SGII, and VC4Africa – will consist of three intensive four-day sessions to be held between October and February in Kenya; during which the participants will receive extensive feedback from their peers, potential customers, investors and industry experts to help scale their businesses.
12 startups will be chosen to join the programme, with two startups to secure US$50,000 each at the end of the accelerator – the winners to be chosen by their peers. Village Capital recently explained to Disrupt Africa why peer-selection is the best model for investing.
Village Capital and Gearbox said they are especially interested in inventions that improve access to energy for all, and increase agricultural productivity for smallholder farmers.
For example, the organisers are looking for innovations which improve affordability of energy generation or agricultural products; reduce the cost of consumption for smallholder farmers; and increase the efficiency of energy or agricultural distribution systems.
Applications can be made online, until September 7; although applications will be considered on a rolling basis so early submissions are encouraged.
The launch of the hardware programme comes hot on the heels of Village Capital’s East African fintech for agriculture accelerator, which concluded in Kenya in June.