Iyin Aboyeji’s Accelerate Africa selects 10 African startups for its pioneer cohort

Four months after its launch, Accelerate Africa, a new accelerator program aiming to become the "Y Combinator of Africa," has selected its first cohort of 10 startups from Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and Eswatini.

Iyin Aboyeji’s Accelerate Africa selects 10 African startups for its pioneer cohort
Photo Credit: Accelerate Africa

Four months after its launch, Accelerate Africa, a new accelerator programme aiming to become the "Y Combinator of Africa", has announced its first cohort of ten African startups.

The initiative, founded by Iyin Aboyeji, the founder of Pan-African VC firm Future Africa, and Mia von Koschitzky-Kimani, a general partner, aims to propel early-stage African businesses.

"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."

After the demo day held on Friday at 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. It's important to note that, unlike Y Combinator, participation in the accelerator programme does not guarantee funding directly from Accelerate Africa.

The inaugural cohort is geographically diverse, with six companies from Nigeria, two from Kenya, and one from Egypt and Eswatini. They operate in various sectors including artificial intelligence (AI), cleantech, proptech, healthtech, automotive technology, HRTech), logistics and fintech.

The selected startups include:

  • Afriskaut (Nigeria): Founded by Nnamdi Emefo, Buggu Ussa, Joshua Osazuwa, Ogunkola Obafemi and Eby Emenike, Afriskaut is a Nigerian AI and data startup that enables the discovery of Africa’s top sports talent using proprietary data and AI.
  • Agrails (Kenya): Agrails is a Kenyan cleantech startup that collects, organises and builds AI-powered data systems that enable organisations to respond to and price Africa’s climate risk and opportunities in real time. The startup was founded by Mwenda Mugendi.
  • Campus HQ (Nigeria): Founded by Remi Dada, Campus HQ is a Nigerian proptech startup that is building the Airbnb for workspaces, by simplifying discovery, setup and management of offices for mid to large teams in Africa.
  • CDIAL (Nigeria): CDIAL is a Nigerian AI startup that is building a conversational AI that speaks and understands African languages, led by the team of Yinka Iyinolakan, Shona Olalere and Soji Akinlabi.
  • Checkups (Kenya): Checkups provides affordable and accessible healthcare to the uninsured and underserved via micropayments from earnings, bank deposits or mobile money. The Kenyan healthtech startup was founded by Moka Lantum and Renee Ngamau.
  • Flickwheel (Nigeria): Henry Okafor and Paul Edwards are the masterminds behind Flickwheel, a Nigerian autotech startup that helps vehicle owners efficiently care for and maintain their vehicles, through on-demand auto repair credits, vetted auto technicians and automated vehicle repair tracking.
  • Juiceme (Eswatini): Sandile Diamini is the founder of Juiceme. The HRTech startup works with organisations employing blue-collar workers to provide access to their wages via WhatsApp without having to wait for payday, especially for emergency expenses.
  • Messenger (Nigeria): Amanda Etuk and Essien Etuk are the driving force behind Messenger, a logistics startup that empowers delivery drivers to become logistics entrepreneurs by providing not just income but ownership opportunities. Through its vehicle financing service, drivers can acquire their delivery vehicles creating a stake in the value chain.
  • PipeOps (Nigeria): Founded by Samuel Ogbonyomi, Alex Idowu and Taye Odunfa, PipeOps is a DevOps provider that allows companies without cloud expertise to automatically set up, deploy and manage their apps on the cloud. They achieve this through a suite of traditional DevOps tools, managed services and no-code tools.
  • Settle (Egypt): Settle is a fintech startup that automates the process of B2B payments, enabling clients to pay all their suppliers in a few clicks. They are doing this by filling the existing market gap of manual workload in payments that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems do not currently cover. It was founded by Kamil Sayour.

Editor's Note: This article has been fact-checked and updated to clarify specific details about the following startups: Campus HQ, CDIAL, Afriskaut, Agrails, PipeOps and Juiceme.

Additionally, following clarification from Future Africa, we've removed the mention of co-founders no longer with Juiceme and Agrails, who were listed in the embedded video.

(May 31, 2024. 21:08 WAT)

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