Vodacom launches $150k startup accelerator in Tanzania

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Mobile operator Vodacom has partnered innovation hub Smart Lab to launch a digital accelerator programme to help early-stage and growth-stage Tanzanian tech startups become profitable.

The programme, funded to the tune of US$150,000 by Vodacom Tanzania and facilitated by Smart Lab, will run annually and aims to support startups in the mobile, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce spaces.

During the three-month programme, participants will have access to Vodacom’s corporate resources, networks, mentors and partners. It will culminate with a demo day, with winners gaining a further six months of support.

“Vodacom always aims to create impactful sustainable change in the societies where we operate, in line with our strategic business focus, and the Vodacom Accelerator aims to do just that,” said Vodacom Tanzania managing director Hisham Hendi.

“Digital technology is not only changing the way we do business in Africa, but also revolutionising the way we perceive and solve issues of development. It is therefore with great honour that we will once again create an opportunity for such ideas to be recognised, supported and transformed to maximize social impact.”

Smart Lab chief executive officer Edwin Bruno said his company was excited to be part of the initiative.

“Together with Vodacom we hope to create a brand-building platform for the tech-savvy youth. This programme is in line with our corporate strategy to drive messaging around youth support in the digital age, and we are grateful for Vodacom Tanzania who saw the need to create the next round of success stories for African entrepreneurs building fast-growing technology companies coming from within the country,” 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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