Winners of Vodacom Digital Accelerator Program 2020 announced 

https://www.facebook.com/VodacomAccelerator/photos/pcb.359584568767255/359582738767438/?type=3&theater

 After an 11-month vetting process, three young Tanzanians have been chosen as the Vodacom Digital Accelerator Program winners for 2020. 

The chosen winners are Smart Class, Hashtag pools along with MYHI and E-DISPENSARY

Established by Vodacom Tanzania Plc and Smart Codes, the program aims to assist early-stage growth tech startups to become revenue-generating businesses. 

Smart Lab is an innovation platform that links learning institutions with corporate partners to empower groundbreaking solutions that will impact African communities.  ideas@smartlab.co.tz

Receiving over 600 applicants from various sectors including agriculture, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce, the program has gained traction since launching in 2019. During the application process, each applicant was provided with training, mentorship, and support. After the initial phase, 15 tech startups were narrowed down to make the final decision. 

Nguvu Kamando, director of Vodacome’s Digital and Value Added Services comments on the importance of technological solutions that create sustainable change. 

“We have been impressed and awed by all the start-ups that were selected for this maiden accelerator program, they all had great ideas in using digital technology to change the way we do business but also solve issues of development. Congratulations to all the young people who participated and I encourage to think differently and utilize technology to make a difference. “

Winners 

The winners were announced in order of overall winner, first runner up and second runner up. 

First prize: Smart Class 

Functioning as an online platform to connect learners or students to qualified and certified private students both online and offline, Smart Class is an edtech startup. The platform gathers data analytics and advanced algorithmic to match students with tutors. 

First runner up: Hashtag pools 

As an e-commerce platform, Hashtag pools allows users to shop for items that offer a maximum price discount of products through the process of a joint purchase. 

Second runner up: MYHI and E-DISPENSARY

Offering a platform that handles medical services, E-dispensary offers medical service options to its users. 

Among the key mentors in the Vodacom Digital Accelerator program and one of the most successful digital entrepreneurs Edwin Bruno, CEO and founder of Smart Codes called for scaling up support for innovation that can bring about rapid development through technological advancement. 

“We cannot thank Vodacom Tanzania enough for playing a big part in pioneering technological advances in Tanzania but mostly for partnering with us in ensuring that we support startups in Tanzania who are coming up with brilliant tech solutions that will transform our nation. Smart Lab hopes to keep bridging the gap between startups and large corporations but mostly nurturing startups in Tanzania and Africa in general. I commend all the startups that worked hard to be part of the program showing much growth and I congratulate today’s winners”. Bruno explained.

Adam Juma, COO of Smart Class expresses that more companies should support startups allowing innovative business ideas to develop into successful enterprises. 

“I am grateful for the support I have received from Vodacom and Smart Codes that has given me more knowledge and insights on transforming an idea into a working business. I call on other big companies to emulate this initiative so that more local businesses can develop to the next level”.

The Vodacom’s Accelerator Program Tanzania has set an example for corporate companies’ participation in the innovation ecosystem. 

It is a call for all innovators, entrepreneurs, and technology gurus to pursue this kind of initiative that will transform the Tanzanian society by creating groundbreaking solutions, solving the growing unemployment problem in the country, and contributing to the economy.

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Featured image: (from left to right) Nguvu Kamando, Director of Digital and Extra Services at Vodacom with Harrieth Peter and Adam Duma from Smart Class, Facebook 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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