Kigali-based Norrsken partners Novartis Foundation to launch health challenge, accelerator


The Kigali-based non-profit Norrsken has partnered the Novartis Foundation to build and launch what it says will be the leading hub and accelerator for e-health startups in East Africa. 

Founded by Niklas Adalberth, one of the founders of Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, in 2016, Norrsken aims to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s greatest challenges. Disrupt Africa reported in 2019 the impact and tech entrepreneurship support foundation had launched operations in Kigali, Rwanda as a base for investing across the East and Central African region.

Norrsken has already opened its Norrsken House co-working space in Kigali, and has now announced a partnership with the Novartis Foundation for a health-focused initiative that will incorporate space and accelerator, which will be located inside Norrsken House. It is also launching the HealthTech Hub Challenge, a competition to find the 30 most promising healthtech startups in Kigali and East Africa. 

Challenge prizes include a one-year subsidy to sit at the HealthTech Hub Africa and participation in the 2022 HealthTech Innovation Programme. The top three selected winners will also receive US$30,000, US$20,000 and US$5,000 respectively. 

“We are so excited to be launching the HealthTech Hub challenge and hosting the HealthTech Hub Africa at the Norrsken Kigali House. It will be the first space where HealthTech startups can work together and collaborate, which will revolutionise the industry by cutting down the cost of care and democratising access to quality care in the region,” said Pascal Murasira, MD of Norrsken East Africa. 

The challenge is open to startups with less than US$2 million in prior funding and with solutions with evidence of validation and positive impact in the domains of breast cancer, cardiovascular health and/or virtual care. Teams must have a minimum of two people, and those with a more positive gender balance will be prioritized. Applications are open here.


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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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