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Two African startups chosen for third cohort of MAN Impact Accelerator

Stephen Timm

Two African startups — Nigerian drone manufacturing startup Arone and Ugandan based solar-powered motorcycles provider Zembo — are among eight companies that have been chosen for the third cohort of the MAN Impact Accelerator.

The accelerator — which works with startups in the field of mobility, transport and logistics to tackle social and environmental challenges — is an initiative of German’s MAN Truck and Bus and non-profit Yunus Social Business.

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Applications for the third cohort opened in August (see this story) and closed on 1 October. The eight were selected from about 300 applications from over 40 counties. The programme kicks off next month.

The Man Impact Accelerator works with startups in mobility, transport and logistics to tackle social and environmental challenges

Nigerian startup Arone claims to be building Africa’s biggest aerial logistics infrastructure for health care. By using smart drones, the startup can provide quick, affordable and reliable delivery of blood and medical supplies to the most remote villages in under 15 minutes.

The startup was founded in March last year by Emmanuel Ezenwere (pictured above).

Zembo provides affordable electric motorcycles for motorcycle taxi drivers in Africa. The company assembles and leases solar-powered motorcycles on a pay-as-you-go model with the possibility of owning the asset after two years.

The startup was founded in 2017 by Daniel Dreher and Etienne Saint-Sernin, according to Saint-Sernin’s LinkedIn page and the page of Dreher. It has offices in Uganda and Paris

The six remaining startups that were selected include Suma, Eu Vo and Nina from Brazil, Koiki from Spain, Addressya from Sweden, and XYT from France.

The accelerator programme will include stops in various cities.

In week one in November, the programme will stop in Munich. Week two in January will be held in São Paulo, Brazil, before moving onto Johannesburg in March for week three. Week four will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The accelerator programme will end with a closing week back in Munich in June next year.

Arunima Singh, accelerator programme lead from Yunus Social Business said in a statement that the founders who have been chosen to be a part of the MAN Impact Accelerator embody an opportunity to harness the power of business to impact people’s lives in many different geographies.

“At Yunus Social Business, we believe in the power of business to end poverty. A social business is a for-profit company with a social mission at its core 100% dedicated to solving human problems,” said Singh.

The accelerator said in the same statement that in the previous programme, participants have on average doubled their revenues and increased their impact by four times over the course of the programme.

Read more: MAN Impact Accelerator calls on startups to apply for next cohort
Read more
Second cohort of MAN Impact Accelerator kicks off with three SA companies
Read more: SA startups Mellowcabs, GetTruck join MAN Impact Accelerator first cohort

Featured image: Arone founder Emmanuel Ezenwere pictured in October 2018’s Gitex summit in Dubai (Stephen Timm)

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