Accelerate Africa, a new accelerator program aspiring to become the “Y Combinator of Africa,” has announced its first cohort of ten African startups. Founded by Iyin Aboyeji of Future Africa and Mia von Koschitzky-Kimani, the program aims to propel early-stage African businesses to new heights.

“For a long time, I told anyone who cared to listen that the YC of Africa is YC and there was no need for an African accelerator. I’ve changed my mind,” Aboyeji said at the launch. “Prior to now, we have mostly run successful pre-accelerator programs to help get founders into actual accelerator programs like YC and Techstars. Now we are getting into the accelerator arena ourselves.”

Following the demo day held at the Marriott Hotel in Lagos, decisions on pre-seed or seed funding will be made for some of the selected startups. These investments, ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, will come from angel investors and venture capitalists. Unlike Y Combinator, participation in the Accelerate Africa program does not guarantee direct funding from the accelerator.

The inaugural cohort includes six startups from Nigeria, two from Kenya, and one each from Egypt and Eswatini. They represent a diverse array of sectors including artificial intelligence (AI), cleantech, proptech, healthtech, automotive technology, HRTech, logistics, and fintech.

Selected Startups:

  1. Afriskaut (Nigeria): Founded by Nnamdi Emefo, Buggu Ussa, Joshua Osazuwa, Ogunkola Obafemi, and Eby Emenike, Afriskaut is an AI and data startup enabling the discovery of Africa’s top sports talent using proprietary data and AI.
  2. Agrails (Kenya): A cleantech startup founded by Mwenda Mugendi, Agrails builds AI-powered data systems that enable organizations to respond to and price Africa’s climate risk and opportunities in real time.
  3. Campus HQ (Nigeria): Founded by Remi Dada, Campus HQ is a proptech startup that simplifies the discovery, setup, and management of workspaces for mid to large teams in Africa, akin to an Airbnb for offices.
  4. CDIAL (Nigeria): Led by Yinka Iyinolakan, Shona Olalere, and Soji Akinlabi, CDIAL is developing conversational AI that speaks and understands African languages.
  5. Checkups (Kenya): Founded by Moka Lantum and Renee Ngamau, Checkups is a healthtech startup providing affordable and accessible healthcare to the uninsured and underserved through micropayments from earnings, bank deposits, or mobile money.
  6. Flickwheel (Nigeria): Henry Okafor and Paul Edwards founded Flickwheel, an autotech startup that helps vehicle owners care for and maintain their vehicles via on-demand auto repair credits, vetted auto technicians, and automated repair tracking.
  7. Juiceme (Eswatini): Founded by Sandile Diamini, Juiceme is an HRTech startup that provides blue-collar workers access to their wages via WhatsApp, allowing them to manage emergency expenses without waiting for payday.
  8. Messenger (Nigeria): Amanda Etuk and Essien Etuk founded Messenger, a logistics startup that empowers delivery drivers to become logistics entrepreneurs through vehicle financing and ownership opportunities.
  9. PipeOps (Nigeria): Founded by Samuel Ogbonyomi, Alex Idowu, and Taye Odunfa, PipeOps is a DevOps provider that helps companies without cloud expertise to automatically set up, deploy, and manage their apps on the cloud.
  10. Settle (Egypt): A fintech startup founded by Kamil Sayour, Settle automates B2B payments, enabling clients to pay all their suppliers in a few clicks, addressing the gap left by enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Accelerate Africa aims to not only support these startups financially but also provide them with mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to succeed in their respective industries.

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