DRC: Ishango Startups Center Transforms Projects into Formal Businesses or Startup

By : Melchior Koba

Date : jeudi, 29 février 2024 12:43

Ishango Startups Center stands as a beacon, guiding young talents toward entrepreneurial success. It aims to stimulate economic development and promote innovation in the DRC.

Ishango Startups Center, a startup incubator based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a product of a public-private partnership between Medialab Group and its host country’s SME promotion agency OPEC. Launched in 2021, the initiative aligns with President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi’s vision to enhance the business environment and foster entrepreneurship in the DRC.

The center’s mission is twofold, according to project coordinator Félix Mangwangu. “Firstly, we aim to educate young people from the incubation stage, transforming their projects into formal businesses or startups within the Congolese market. Secondly, we provide ongoing support to these individuals across Africa via an acceleration program.”

Ishango Startups Center is designed to address unemployment issues and cater to the specific needs of the professional sector. It provides both private and open workspaces equipped with high-speed internet and computers. Additionally, the center houses a fablab where entrepreneurs can create 3D models of prototypes relevant to their industries.

To successfully carry out its missions, Ishango Startups Center collaborates with other institutions, including Orange Digital Center (ODC) for additional startup support.  In 2023, the center participated in ODC's Orange Fab acceleration program in the DRC. Supported startups include Inki, which provides digital customer feedback solutions, and STAR UP KOBIKA NA NDAKU. The latter develops neonatal incubators with phototherapy, solar power, and health software to reduce infant mortality.

Melchior Koba


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