( TELECEL GROUP) - Telecel Group Africa Startup Initiative Program (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 program received a record 2229 applications this year 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 telecoms giant, 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, eCommerce, 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.“
We are honored to announce that 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. Treatment recommendations are provided in multiple languages enabling more farmers to use the technology even in remote areas with no internet connection.
Agrodata has created a bee-centered cropping model using an IoT device called iSmarthives which the startup installs for free at farmlands in Nigeria. The tool enables rapid bee colonization towards cross-pollination of crop plants, harnessing natural honey and also collates agro-ecological data from the farm environment.
AGS Tribe is a pan African community built to inspire, connect and build the capacity of young entrepreneurs and professionals through capacity building, funding initiatives, and enterprise challenges. The platform aims to reduce youth unemployment and promote economic growth through financial inclusion initiatives.
Through Dawa Health, expectant mothers access tailored weekly maternal advice and the support they need to identify pathological changes in time. One of the company's flagship products, the DawaMom platform is a multi-lingual, AI-powered, digital health platform accessible via a smartphone app, SMS app, web portal, and a text/audio chat-bot.
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. Similar to a credit card, with Motito you can walk into a merchant store (e.g. Samsung store) and make payment in installments for items you purchase.
NucleusIS is a technology for Africa's health insurance value chain that curtails fraud, reduces cost, increases efficiency, and provides distribution channels for sales. The startup's technology ecosystem consists of a web portal, mobile app, and USSD short code to enable Health Maintenance Organisations to monitor providers and policyholders across multiple touchpoints.
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. The startup seeks to be a custodian between transporters and financial partners while providing transporters with sufficient, accurate operational history on loads completed and any future loads available to them.
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. The platform offers career management solutions and collaborates with candidates in their professional endeavors while also facilitating a fun & interesting learning experience through features like a vibrant social forum.
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. They are building new-age tools in credit scoring and fraud mitigation to power new models of lending such as the use of mobile phone data to score a user’s credit worthiness. With the help of machine learning algorithms that use the data available on customers’ cell phones, Weza can predict creditworthiness.
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. Goods are sold at wholesale prices and sourced from local farmers, manufacturers, and cooperatives.
Dale Mathias ASIP Advisor stated that; "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 July 5th Participants will spend the next 3 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 3 months. Due to Covid 19 travel restrictions, this year's program will be fully remote using the Accelerator Squared platform. The inaugural Telecel Group ASIP Accelerator powered by SBC AfriTech will culminate in an online Demo Day on September 30th, 2021 where startup founders pitch their disruptive solutions to a broad audience of media, investors, corporate partners, and industry stakeholders.
Startups will also have access to the global Accelerator Squared platform which has a complete library of content, group workshops, 1:1 mentoring, and collaborative sessions with Entrepreneurs in Residence, and invite-only discussion forums with founders from around the globe. In addition to customized support from experienced mentors and dedicated Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, the 10 startups in the program 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 $90 Million in follow-on funding,” says Philip Kiracofe, Co-founder and Chief Disruptor at SBC AfriTech. “We are thrilled to be launching the inaugural ASIP Accelerator with Telecel Group and are already hard at work with these 10 inspiring startups. They have big shoes to fill, but we are confident that they will be the next superstars in their respective industries. We are also excited that 8 out of the 10 startups in this year’s cohort have one or more female co-founders!”
Telecel Group and SBC AfriTech have also introduced the ASIP Scale Program, which is specifically designed for later stage scale-ups that can take advantage of access to commercial contracts and larger investors. The program 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. The platform serves in areas such as Anti-Counterfeiting, Consumer Rewards, Consumer Engagement and Market Data/Insights through a secure block chain network.
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. The startup incorporates an on-demand component within health supply chains to eliminate stock-outs and also allows for the contactless delivery of important items like Covid tests.
ABOUT Startupbootcamp AfriTech
Startupbootcamp AfriTech was launched in 2017 as the first multi corporate-backed pan-African startup accelerator. We run world class accelerator programs, and our mission is to scout, skill and scale the most disruptive startups on the continent. We provide access to our global network of corporate partners, investors and mentors and facilitate Corporate Startup Collaboration to support Africa’s most impactful innovators. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/sbcafritech
ABOUT Telecel Group
Telecel Group operates in four different lines of Business all under the telecom industry: (1) Telecel Mobile, owns and operates several mobile operators in Africa. (2) Telecel Global, offers a multitude of services to MNOs such as VOICE, SMS, DATA, IPTV, international traffic, VAS, Data Centers, Fiber Optic and Quadruple play. (3) Telecel Play Application with an African identity innovating the E-Commerce. (4) Africa Startup initiative program, which targets innovative startups in the region of Africa while offering them support and guidance. For more information on the Telecel Group program, visit www.telecelgroup.com
ABOUT Africa Startup Initiative Program
ASIP is a program founded by Moh Damush, Telecel Group CEO as a CSR activity. ASI Program contributes in a meaningful way to the African Continent to support the young Startups whose innovative ideas are creating a difference in their communities, exposes them to the international organizations, and bridges the knowledge and expertise to allow them to attract partners that can add value to their Startups. Our goal is to discover Africa’s most talented entrepreneurs operating in the fields of telecom and technology, and help them create successful companies at scale. We support the startups via our Accelerator and Investment Programs. The Accelerator program provides the startups with coaching and mentoring, workshops, access to markets, and education. The Investment Program emphasizes access to investors, funding, grants, angel investments, and venture capital. We want to expose the pre-seed companies to the international organizations and bridge the knowledge and expertise to attract partners that can add value and transform the entrepreneurial concepts into sustainable businesses that serve the community and the society at large. Our ability to leverage relationships on behalf of our program participants to provide them with boundless access to investors and markets will be unmatched. The startups will be transformed into well-established firms that introduce the most innovative solutions in Africa and become drivers of economic growth in the community. For more information on the ASIP, visit www.asiprogram.com