Telecel Group Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP), with Africa's top early-stage tech Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Afritech, has selected the 10 tech startups that will participate in the inaugural ASIP Accelerator. The programme received a record 2,229 applications and managed to narrow it down to the Top 10, with the help of investors, corporate stakeholders, and industry experts who took part in an intensive 2-day selection process of 20 semi-finalists.
Founded by Telecel Group, and backed by key tech partners including AWS and Google Cloud Platform, ASIP aims to support the next generation of early-stage African tech startups disrupting key industry verticals that include fintech, insuretech, agritech, e-commerce, digital health, and cleantech. Telecel will provide the participating startups with access to markets through their mobile services across the continent.
Telecel Group CEO and founder of ASIP, Moh Damush stated that “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.”
Telecel Group Executive Deputy and ASIP Director, Eleanor Azar added that “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.”
The following startups will be joining the 2021 ASIP cohort:
- 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.
- Through Dawa Health, expectant mothers access tailored weekly maternal advice and support through a multi-lingual, AI-powered, digital health platform.
- 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.
- Thumeza is an online platform that provides small-scale transporters with immediately accessible working capital based on on-platform and off-platform transporter operational activities.
- 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.
Dale Mathias, ASIP Advisor says "I am pleased to have been able to participate in Telecel Group ASIP final selection days. The breadth of talent on display over the last two-days has been inspiring and I am grateful for the time that all participants took in preparation for this event."
Starting 5 July, participants will spend three months undergoing intensive coaching through expert-led masterclasses covering scaling fundamentals including the business model canvas, lean methodology, and fundraising. They will each have exciting opportunities to run pilot projects with corporate partners to demonstrate the impact of their solutions, and these often lead to commercial contracts that help our alumni to achieve 18 months of growth in just three months.
Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, this year's programme will be fully remote using the Accelerator Squared platform. This inaugural Telecel Group ASIP Accelerator powered by SBC AfriTech will culminate in an online Demo Day on 30 September 2021 where startup founders pitch their disruptive solutions to a broad audience of media, investors, corporate partners, and industry stakeholders.
In addition to customized support from experienced mentors and dedicated Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, the 10 startups will receive benefits valued at more than $750,000, including credits and cash from Telecel Group, AWS, Google Cloud Services and many more.
“We have built a remarkable track-record with the 29 alumni that we have accelerated in the last 3 years - 88% are still operating, and they have collectively raised more than $90m in follow-on funding,” says Philip Kiracofe, cofounder and chief disruptor at SBC AfriTech. “We’re thrilled to be launching the inaugural ASIP Accelerator with Telecel Group and are already hard at work with these 10 inspiring startups. We are confident that they will be the next superstars in their respective industries and are also excited that 8 out of the 10 startups in this year’s cohort have one or more female co-founders!”
ASIP Scale Programme
Telecel Group and SBC AfriTech have also introduced the ASIP Scale Programme, which is specifically designed for later stage scale-ups that can take advantage of access to commercial contracts and larger investors. The programme helps these companies explore pivots and new product offerings to amplify their existing traction and to expand into new regions in Africa, and beyond. The first companies invited to participate are Dove Air and Chekkit Technologies.Chekkit Technologies
provides product authentication technology to guarantee the integrity of products as well as safeguard the lives of consumers. Dove Air
provides urgent delivery of medical products and vaccines with drones. This enables leaders and decision-makers in countries to have real-time, on-demand delivery strategies for effective emergency medical response.