Four impact-focused African tech startups have been selected to join the Joint Startup Programme, which will help them with access to mentoring, training, and networks.
The programme, run by Merck Accelerator in partnership with Make-IT in Africa and Hybr, is aimed at startups working towards the SDGs by applying cutting edge technologies to solve real-life problems in areas such as healthcare, life sciences and performance materials.
Nineteen founders from Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda joined a weeklong bootcamp programme in Nairobi last month, which featured interactive classroom training, work-out sessions, scale-up diagnostics and design-for-scale training.
The final day of the programme saw founders pitch for a place in the main programme, with four selected. They are South African startup Akili Labs, which designs modular, connected smart point of care molecular diagnostics systems; Kenya’s Bluewave Insurance, which makes insurance more accessible and available for low-income earners; Nigeria’s Chekkit, which designs anti-counterfeit solutions for the food and drug supply chain; and Tunisia’s Epilert, which has built a wearable bracelet with integrated biosensors.
These four startups will now have the chance to explore potential collaboration opportunities with Merck, and have the chance to scale their businesses through training, access to corporate partners, and the chance to showcase their solutions at Merck in South Africa and exhibitions at the South African Innovation Summit and Medica Trade Fair.