Source: Ephraim Modise/Techcabal

Non-profit organisation Injini has announced the first cohort of 12 edtech startups participating in the inaugural Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship

Injini is part of an Africa-wide network of partners implementing the Mastercard Foundation Fellowship to support growth-stage EdTech startups as they seek to improve learning outcomes. 

“We saw many promising applicants during the selection process for our Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program,” stated Krista Davidson, Executive Director of Injini.

 “It was not an easy process to narrow down the applicants from hundreds to these 12 Fellows, as there are many impressive EdTech solutions operating and making a real difference to learners across the country. We are confident that we will be able to work with each one individually to grow their impact and improve educational outcomes in South Africa.”

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) which partners with technology and innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa to support promising, growth-stage EdTech ventures with the potential for scale and impact. 

Launched in 2019, the Fellowship supported 12 African EdTech companies from 7 countries in its first year.  Collectively, these companies have reached over 800,000 learners to date.

The Fellowship will provide the selected startups with direct funding support worth over R1,000,000 (~ $540 000) in equity-free venture funding, product quality evaluation and certification, intensive skills development, coaching and mentorship, bespoke market research, and market access through Injini’s network of stakeholders across the education innovation landscape.

The selected startups are:

  1. Afrika Tikkun Bambanani strives to provide South African children with access to quality education by standardizing the ECD curriculum. The organization collaborates with renowned researchers and educators to equip children with specialized educational tools. 
  2. Ambani Africa through the use of augmented reality, animation, and gamification, has successfully developed learner-focused products for language learning. They offer a free language app that currently offers six African language options.
  3. BuzzKidz Buzz-in-a-Box (BIAB), is an EdTech solution that helps South African teachers provide creative arts education to learners. Backed by research on play-based learning, the platform offers a comprehensive curriculum covering music, drama, and dance.
  4. Click Learning is an NGO that helps underserved primary schools in South Africa improve foundational literacy, numeracy, and digital skills through the deployment of relevant online programs. 
  5. Code4Kids is a program that enables teachers to teach coding, robotics, and other ICT skills to students from Grades 4 – 9 through pre-made, curriculum-aligned lessons. Code4Kids offers multiple coding languages such as HTML, CSS and Javascript in a fun and easy-to-learn environment.
  6. Digify Africa is a chat-based learning platform that delivers interactive micro-learning through WhatsApp to low-income users in Africa. Lessons are accessible to learners wherever and whenever they want and at their own pace. 
  7. FunDza Literacy Trust is a ‘library on a phone’ where readers, writers, and course participants can connect with FunDza through a mobile-friendly and data-light site. The platform publishes reading and writing materials that ignite a love of reading, specifically aimed at teens and young adults who have never previously identified as readers.
  8. Matric Live is a multifunctional education app with interactive lessons, gamification of learning, and an exam simulation feature for practising exam-like questions.
  9. Reflective Learning is a data-driven solution that helps teachers identify learning gaps and provides personalised learning pathways to empower learners to catch up on their backlogs.
  10. Resolute Education provides robotics and coding programs for schools and tertiary institutions. These programs follow the CAPS curriculum, include SACE-accredited teacher training and support, offer cost-effective robotics kits, and an LMS for educators and learners.
  11. Yenza offers smart career technology that combines the latest in psychometrics, data science and intelligent design to intuitively guide and recommend successful career pathway journeys for individuals. 

12. Zaio is an online platform that provides highly interactive educational content on digital skills like coding, including on-demand live support, at a fraction of the expected cost.

Source: Ephraim Modise/Techcabal