Back in March this year, the Telecel Group under its Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) and Startupbootcamp Afritech announced that they were looking for startups in Africa for an accelerator program. The initiative is a way for the organisations to look for the very best on the continent in the fields of FinTech, InsureTech, AgriTech, eCommerce, Digital Health, and CleanTech. To say that the program got a warm reception would be an understatement because it received mammoth 2229 applications from startups across Africa which were whittled down to 10 finalists.
“The top 20 startups are all exceptional, it was a tough choice but we made it. We are looking forward to working with the top 10 and exposing them to our entities while helping them achieve their targets. I encourage the rest of the teams to apply again for our next cohort in 9 months.“Eleanor Azar, Telecel Group Executive Deputy and ASIP Director
Of those ten there are two Zimbabwean startups that made the cut. The first is e-health startup Dawa Health which offers remote maternal health consultation, digital blood pressures, urine metabolites, ultrasound scan, and other medical reports
The second Zimbabwean finalist is Thumeza which we have covered a number of times over the years. It is a logistics business that offers peer-to-peer transport solution that helps enterprises coordinate freight and this isn’t Thumeza’s first rodeo too. The startup has is a Tony Elumelu Foundation Alumni, won the Youth Connekt-UNDP regionals, is an Academy of Women Entrepreneurs Alumni and was in the 5th Class of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa.
“We are thrilled to see the quality of the startups that participated in the final selection days and we hope that the finalists will thrive with what we have to offer them in terms of helping them scale faster and more efficiently.”Moh Damush, Telecel Group CEO and founder of ASIP
The other African startups that made it to the final of the Telecel Group ASIP and Startupbootcamp Afritech are:
- Agrix leverages AI and image recognition to detect crop diseases and propose sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to the millions of small-scale farmers in Africa.
- Agrodata has created a bee-centered cropping model using an IoT device called iSmarthives which the startup installs for free at farmlands in Nigeria.
- AGS Tribe is a pan African community built to inspire, connect and build the capacity of young entrepreneurs and professionals through capacity building, financial inclusion initiatives, and enterprise challenges.
- Motito has a buy now, pay later platform that enables small businesses to offer an interest-free credit option to their existing customers at point-of-sale.
- NucleusIS is a technology for Africa’s health insurance value chain that curtails fraud, reduces cost, increases efficiency, and provides distribution channels for sales.
- Ustacky is an online stack-learning platform that offers micro degrees and courses in programming and tech. The startup is teaching industry-relevant technology skills to Africans through quality video content, quizzes & projects which aid in student learning.
- Weza Ventures provides underlying technology to enable financiers and retail merchants to offer their goods and services on credit to the people in the informal sector.
- Worldbay Technologies is taking the principle of crowd-funding and thrift, applying it to food. The enterprise makes food affordable through a monthly subscription service for staple foods and leveraging economies of scale to drive prices lower for subscribers.
The next stage of the program starts on the 5th of July where the selected startups will spend 3 months undergoing coaching through expert-led masterclasses. Their training will cover scaling fundamentals including the business model canvas, lean methodology, and fundraising.
They will also be running pilot projects with the program’s partners to show the impact of their solutions. The biggest event of the ASIP Accelerator will be the demo day on the 30th of September where the finalists will pitch their solutions to investors, ASIP partners, industry stakeholder and the media.
In addition to customized support from experienced mentors and dedicated Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, the 10 startups will receive benefits valued at more than US$750,000, including credits and cash from Telecel Group, AWS, Google Cloud Services and much more