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New innovation programme launches for African-led startups

Seedstars, a Swiss-based private company in partnership with Shell Foundation, a UK-registered charity, has launched the Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture Innovation Programme. 

The programme is aimed at sustainable and scalable Sub Saharan African startups with tech-driven innovations.

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Applications for the programme close on 20 December 2020

In addition, it aims to encourage African startups to positively impact low-income communities through sustainable energy, agriculture, mobility, and transportation. 

In an official press release, Tara Collier, Market Development Manager of the Shell Foundation explains that the partnership with Seedstars will contribute to solving development challenges across Africa.

“Start-ups have immense potential to solve Africa’s biggest development challenges and local African entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to develop these solutions. We are excited to collaborate with Seedstars to identify and support some of the most promising African-led start-ups that will scale these solutions and improve millions of lives across the continent over time” 

Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture Innovation Programme

Entrepreneurs that participate in the programme will receive support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This support includes access to resources, training, and potential funding to accelerate its business and its impact. 

Throughout the programme, participating startups will address challenges that are related to universal access to energy, agriculture, mobility, and transportation. 

Tech-driven early-stage startups that display a high growth potential will be chosen for the programme. 

Applying startups must display an interest in the following: 

  • Increasing universal accessibility to household energy to ensure people can heat, light, and cook.
  • Increasing the accessibility of energy for businesses and large communities.
  • Sustainable mobility and transportation to ensure clean and safe transportation in rural areas and last-mile transportation.
  • Innovations that allow sustainable agriculture value chains that provide access to knowledge, finance, markets, and knowledge aimed at smallholder farmers.

African-led startups that are selected for the programme will be given the opportunity to participate in Seedstarters’ three-month Investment Readiness Programme

The programme will allow entrepreneurs to receive one-on-one mentoring from industry experts, exposure to potential funding opportunities, and access to resources available through the Shell Foundation.

Programme requirements

In order to qualify for the programme startups must adhere to the following criteria: 

  • African-led startups must be based or operating in at least one Sub-Saharan African country
  • Tech-driven innovative solutions must be focused on the mobility, transportation, energy, or agriculture value chains.
  • Startups must be in the early-stage or seed round with a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Startups must have a valid business model that shows the potential for sustainable growth which refers to traction.
  • Startups must have generated revenue and raised less than $1-million 
  • Startups must aim to impact lower-income communities positively while aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2, 7, or 11.

Applicants who are interested in the  Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture Innovation Program can sign up online before 20 December.


Read more: Seedstars reveals $100m Africa fund has made first investment
Read more: New programme aimed at women-led businesses launches

Featured image: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via Unsplash 

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