GSMA launches Innovation Fund for mobile startups


The GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator has announced the launch of its Innovation Fund, set to provide funding of up to GB£250,000 (US$329,000) to African and Asian startups using mobile technology.

For its first round, the Innovation Fund is looking to support African and Asian startups active in the areas of sharing economy, or mobile services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Startups can apply for funding ranging between GB£100,000 (US$132,000) and GB£250,000 (US$329,000), to be used for a specific project which aims to achieve a socio-economic impact, such as job creation, or opportunities for youth.

“The launch of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund is an exciting opportunity for the mobile industry to work with entrepreneurs in developing markets to create services that will deliver important socio-economic benefits to their communities,” says  Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA.

“I anticipate that we will see some incredible applications and I look forward to seeing the first selected startup businesses flourish.”

The duration of the project for which the funding is requested must be between 12 and 18 months; and the applicant must match at least 50 per cent of the funds requested.

In addition to funding, the GSMA says it will provide mobile-focused mentoring and technical assistance, as well as opportunities to partner with mobile operators in relevant markets.

Applications can be made here, until September 18.


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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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