Corporate-backed tech accelerator Founders Factory Africa has partnered South African healthcare provider Netcare to build and scale more than 35 healthcare-focused startups across Africa.
Disrupt Africa reported in October Founders Factory, which originally launched in London in 2015 and has already built 70 startups, launched operations in Johannesburg, from where it plans to design, build and scale 100 disruptive tech startups across Africa over the next five years.
The company brought its model to Africa in partnership with Standard Bank, which made a multi-million dollar investment into Founders Factory Africa, and the pair made their first investments in April. It has now secured backing from Netcare, which operates South Africa’s largest hospital network, to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to build and scale e-health startups across Africa.
Founders Factory Africa’s model includes its six-month accelerator programme, which develops existing businesses, and an incubator programme, which builds completely new businesses focused on addressing key health issues on the continent. The company’s pool of talent will cover all aspects needed to scale its startups, including product development, UX/UI, engineering, investment, business development and growth marketing.
Netcare will provide startups with access to its hospitals, primary healthcare clinics and healthcare value chains, as well as deep health technical expertise, data and IP. These resources and expertise will deliver a significant advantage to the businesses in which Founders Factory Africa and Netcare select to invest in and scale. Netcare will also have the opportunity to continue investing in the new health businesses once their value propositions are proven.
“This exciting initiative enables us to stimulate healthcare innovation and development in South Africa and across the rest of the continent. We are proud to be joining Founders Factory Africa in creating a support system for entrepreneurs which will help them grow innovative healthcare businesses and will provide value to people across Africa, while also unlocking future investment opportunities for Netcare,” said Richard Friedland, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Netcare Group.
Roo Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Founders Factory Africa, said his company was proud to partner with Netcare in a move that will unlock groundbreaking opportunities in accessing affordable healthcare.
“We will deliver digitised healthcare solutions and contribute to spearheading Africa’s innovation in healthcare. The time, the opportunity, and the need is now, for driving Africa’s health-tech to improve the lives of millions of people,” he said.