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11 African start-ups shine at Telecel demo day in Dakar
While the global tech ecosystem experiences a funding regression, African tech start-ups raised more than double what they did last year. The success of earlier-stage businesses remains unprecedented with Max Cuvellier from Africa: The Big Deal finding that these start-ups have been breaking new records every month this year.
Organisers of the Telecel Group’s Africa start-up initiative programme (ASIP) believe this boom is also behind the success of their recent demo day powered by leading tech accelerator Startupbootcamp (SBC) AfriTech. The top-11 start-ups were selected from a pool of over 2 500 applications.
Held yesterday in Dakar, Senegal, the demo day was attended by representatives from key partners, investment funds, government officials and ecosystem supporters. Speaking at the event was the Senegalese minister tasked with entrepreneurship among women and youth, Mame Aby Seye.
“Senegal has the honour of hosting for three months 11 start-ups in acceleration on the Dhub innovation platform housed at DER/FJ. They are among the most promising of the continent,” she said. “This is a strong signal for all African start-ups in search of an environment conducive to supporting their expansion.”
DER/FJ’s innovation space also acted as a campus for the second cohort.
Startupbootcamp programme manager Henry Ojuor said, “This cohort was made up of a diverse group that was working in major developmental sectors that include agriculture, insurance, health, education, and sustainability. This demonstrates the dynamism of the African tech ecosystem as well as the increasing sophistication of solutions built by and for the African market.”
Telecel Play launched
Meanwhile, the Telecel Group also announced the launch of its pan-African customer-centric mobile application, Telecel Play. The company’s chief executive Stephane Dine said, “This superapp, which also includes a chat and a wallet, has been specially designed to allow you to sell and buy alone or in a group easily and quickly. This application will be launched in the B2B model by the end of the year, then will be open to consumers early next year in several African countries.”
Telecel Group reinforced its unwavering support for the development of start-ups in Africa and played a crucial role in assisting the top 11 in their proof of concepts and pilots.
ASIP director Eleanor Azar said, “Current developments in technology are changing the way we live, communicate, and do business, thus disrupting traditional industries and redefining work relationships; Startups coming out of the Telecel Group ASIP program powered by SBC AfriTech have been introduced to the forward-thinking methods which will equip them with the new skill sets required for the 21st century.”
Among others, the cohort included health tech Neural Labs, agritech Agrodata and the Senegalese transport start-up Parcsmart.
In his closing remarks, SBC AfriTech chief executive and co-founder Philip Kiracofe said, “We are incredibly proud of this cohort and how their products and services will improve our lives. These founders are delivering solutions in their local communities and scaling across Africa.”
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