Startupbootcamp AfriTech and Telecel Group have selected 10 African startups to take part in the second edition of the Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP), which offers participants access to funding and support.
Startupbootcamp AfriTech was launched in 2017 as the first multi corporate-backed pan-African startup accelerator. Disrupt Africa reported in March of last year it had partnered telecoms firm Telecel Group to launch the Africa Startup Initiative Programme, which aims to support the next generation of early-stage African tech startups disrupting a wide range of sectors.
ASIP backs young startups with innovative ideas that are creating a difference in their communities, and 10 startups were picked for the first programme last June. Selected companies receive US$18,000 in equity funding in addition to US$750,000 worth of credits, services, and in-kind value.
Eleven startups from across the continent have now been selected for the second edition of the programme, following a rigorous two-day selection process held in Dakar, Senegal earlier this month that saw 20 semi-finalists pitching to judges and stakeholders. In total, 2,295 applications were received from 58 countries.
Four of the selected companies are from Nigeria, namely Crowdyvest, an impact-driven crowd investment platform; Powerstove Energy, which has developed an IoT-enabled smokeless stove; Qataloog, which offers transparent, cost-effective pricing directly to institutions using cataloguing algorithms for learning content and user search preferences; and Rural Farmers Hub, a crop intelligence solution for farmers.
Two of the startups are from Senegal – parking reservation system Parc Smart and fresh food e-commerce platform Proxalys SAS – and another two from Kenya, namely AI-enabled medical imaging startup Neural Labs Africa and insurtech startup Vooli Mobile Insurance App. The list is completed by Ghanaian ed-tech startup eCampus and Ugandan waste management company Ecomak Recyclers.
Meanwhile, Nigerian startup Agrodata, which has invented an IoT-enabled smart hive to assist fruit and vegetable farmers with pollination requirements, will also take part in the programme, having been selected for the first edition but been unable to attend.
“Entrepreneurship and innovation represent Africa’s best possible investment for future sustainability. Startupbootcamp’s entrepreneurs are working to solve critical challenges, improving lives and communities. More than 88 per cent of our 40 alumni are still operating and have raised more than US$90 million in funding, showing that our programme is making a difference,” said Philip Kiracofe, CEO of Startupbootcamp AfriTech.
The programme will take place in Dakar, and startups will be hosted by DER/FJ at the D-hub, a space commissioned by the General Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ) and established by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.