TECH STARS

TECH STARS (585)

CINOLU is an innovation hub that supports young innovators and entrepreneurs in the DRC. It offers incubation programs and services tailored to the local context, such as training, mentoring, networking, financing, and market access.

The Centre d’Innovation de Lubumbashi (CINOLU) was founded in 2015. With Berry Numbi, an electromechanical engineer, as CEO, its mission is to boost the regional competitiveness of young innovators and entrepreneurs in DR Congo through innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

It enables young innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly early-stage companies, startups, and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, to access business knowledge, and increase their business acumen and network.

The center offers coworking space, organizes boot camps, internships, exhibitions, and conferences, and runs incubation and mentoring programs. In 2018, it was selected by Elan to organize, in Lubumbashi, the incubation program for the winners of the Congo Tech Days Hackathon.

In addition, CINOLU formulates projects and advocates for public policies in favor of innovative online entrepreneurship players. It also offers a wide range of workshops for entrepreneurs, mentors, and coaches.

In addition to its regular programs, the center has a women's laboratory, called Femmes360, which works to empower women and girls in the fields of technology and innovation.

Since its creation, CINOLU, with more than 15 mentors and coaches and over 1,000 beneficiaries, has developed over 150 projects and set up more than 8 programs. It works with government partners, companies, and organizations such as AfriLabs, Afric'Innov, Innovation for Policy Foundation (I4Policy), Meta, Silikin Village, RLabs, and Enabel.

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 02 novembre 2023 13:45 Written by

With a degree in geoinformatics and geospatial intelligence, he helps companies better understand their markets and customers. His expertise has enabled his company to be selected by leading accelerator programs.

Bakuena Ntshasa (photo) is the co-founder and CEO of Brandbook, a startup that helps companies understand how best to serve their markets and customers. Born and raised in South Africa, the entrepreneur completed his higher education at the University of Pretoria, where he studied geoinformatics and geospatial intelligence.

Through Brandbook –founded in 2018, he offers businesses comprehensive insights into their brands, consumers, and competitors. He also facilitates the identification and targeting of new opportunities in relevant consumer categories and channels while also enabling a comprehensive understanding of a consumer's entire journey, ensuring a tailored response to their needs.

Based on purchase data as well as demographic attributes and habits, Brandbook's products enable retailers to easily generate comprehensive buyer segments. It also enables companies to understand visitors’ motivations, making it easier to drive sales. 

One of the company's offerings is Ibottit, a shopping rewards app that launched in 2021. This app allows users to accumulate points and gifts by uploading images of their purchase receipts, whether in-store or online. Points accumulated can be redeemed for digital vouchers.

In 2018, the company was selected along with 9 other startups by Startupbootcamp AfriTech to take part in its acceleration program. In 2019, it was selected for the fourth edition of the Google Launchpad Africa accelerator.

During his studies, Bakuena Ntshasa worked at the University of Pretoria as a laboratory technician between 2015 and 2018, as well as portfolio manager for administration, finance, and discipline at Hatfield Studios, a private student residence not far from the University of Pretoria.

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 02 novembre 2023 13:23 Written by

Harhub is a community that fosters collaboration and innovation. It offers appropriate entrepreneurial training to young people as well as incubation services, mentoring, coaching, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs.

Hargeisa Hub (Harhub) is an innovation, co-working, and training space that supports entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa. Founded in 2018 by the Shaqodoon organization and led by Mahamoud Batalaale, an investment and business development specialist, it aims to reduce youth unemployment in Somaliland.

HarHub establishes incubation and acceleration initiatives tailored for young entrepreneurs, assisting them in refining their products, penetrating new markets, validating their concepts, and fostering expansion. Its flagship incubation program, Harhub Business Incubation, is designed to provide entrepreneurs and digital nomads with a secure space to foster startup growth and sustainability. It also encourages collaboration between entrepreneurs, through its coworking space. Participants in its programs gain access to a diverse network of global specialists.

The center is also developing training and investment programs to provide high-quality training and unique access to finance for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the early stages. The initiative aims to empower young, innovative entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds, enabling them to independently establish their ventures.

Through its acceleration program, it helps young companies to develop, expand, and penetrate new markets. Harhub accepts all types of innovative businesses but, it mainly focuses on companies in the agriculture, livestock, energy, and technology sectors.

Harhub operates multiple venues dedicated to hosting events and meetings focused on digital innovation, entrepreneurship, and social progress. These events include the Startup Huddle, which brings together budding and emerging entrepreneurs, businesses, and consultants from Somaliland. The latter can be defined as a networking event that facilitates relations between entrepreneurs.

A member of the AfriLabs network, it is supported by UNDP, Crosswise Works, and Oxfam, among others. In terms of impact, Harhub has received 2,805 applications, invested in 124 startups, trained 520 young people, created 161 jobs, incubated 61 start-ups, organized 120 networking events, and mentored 146 young people. These statistics testify to Harhub's significant impact on the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 31 octobre 2023 12:58 Written by

Cathy Chepkemboi is an enthusiastic entrepreneur dedicated to driving technological innovation in Africa. As the founder of Tushop, she has distinguished herself by delivering high-quality and practical solutions to Kenyan communities. 

Cathy Chepkemboi (photo) is the founder and CEO of Tushop, a social commerce platform that enables group purchasing of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Originally from Kenya, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in International Relations.

In 2021, she launched Tushop, a platform that consolidates grocery orders within communities, securing wholesale prices for buyers and ensuring hassle-free last-mile delivery. Tushop aims to meet the growing demand for e-commerce services in Kenya and redefine the online shopping experience. It strives to deliver top-notch products at budget-friendly rates while establishing seamless connections between wholesalers and consumers.

Under the leadership of Cathy Chepkemboi, Tushop has enjoyed considerable success. In 2021, the company was selected for the "The Future is Female" mentoring program run by C. Moore Media International Public Relations (CMM) for African female tech founders.

In June 2023, Tushop was also selected for Google for Startups' Black Founders Fund in Africa, receiving up to $150,000 in non-dilutive grants, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, advertising support, one-to-one mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within the Google network.

Cathy Chepkemboi's professional career began in 2014 at Unilever, where she was hired as Brand Assistant for Royco, a food company operating in the Kenyan market. Subsequently, she assumed roles such as Buying Marketing Analyst in the UK in 2016 and in Kenya from August 2017 to March 2018, along with a stint as Sales Manager in Kenya from January to July 2017. In 2018, she transitioned to Moko, a leading home furnishing product manufacturer and retailer, taking on the role of Head of Brand, Marketing, and Product Development until 2019.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 31 octobre 2023 12:53 Written by

As an entrepreneur and designer, he has founded multiple successful businesses, earning various awards and distinctions. Notably, he was mentioned in the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list in 2019.

Evans Akanno (photo) is a Nigerian entrepreneur and designer. He is the founder and CEO of Vzy, a platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the website creation process.

Evans Akanno studied electrical engineering at Imo State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 2009. Certified in 2018 by the Harvard Extension School in innovation and strategy, he also holds a master's degree in innovation and entrepreneurship (2022) from the University of California, Irvine.

Vzy was founded in 2021. Its flagship tool, suitable for everyone –even those with no coding skills– enables users to manage multiple websites from a single account. It also provides a mobile interface, allowing users to design and manage their websites right from their mobile devices. It offers Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to secure websites, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster loading times, and Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud hosting to guarantee reliable performance.

On October 5, 2023, Vzy was selected, along with 10 other startups, to join the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First program. It will receive up to $350,000 in Google Cloud credits and access to Google's AI expertise and support.

Evans Akanno also works with incubators and accelerators to support startups and budding entrepreneurs. He is a mentor at Startup Grind Lagos and Startupbootcamp. Before Vzy, in 2015, he founded Cregital, a Nigeria-based company specializing in branding, UX/UI design, and web development. In 2019, he also co-founded Disha, an innovative tool that helps designers and freelancers receive international payments. The solution was acquired by Flutterwave in 2021.

Before entrepreneurship, the Nigerian entrepreneur worked as a brand marketing specialist for the e-commerce company Jumia from 2012 to 2013. In 2013, he joined Konga Online Shopping Ltd as a creative strategist. He worked there until 2014.

Throughout his career, he has received several awards for outstanding entrepreneurship. In October 2016, Cregital received the award for Best Website Development Company of the Year from the Nigeria Technology Awards. In 2019, Forbes Africa named Evans one of the 30 under 30 in the technology category. He was also listed among the 100 most influential young Nigerians by Avance Media.

Melchior Koba

Posted On lundi, 30 octobre 2023 15:51 Written by

Through its innovative programs and commitment to education and youth empowerment, Africa ICT Right aims to help build a digital future for Africa.

Founded in 2007 and led by CEO Daniel Kwaku Ganyoame, Africa ICT Right (AIR) is a Ghana-based non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the digital divide by building a more equitable and technologically advanced future for all. It uses information and communication technology (ICT) tools as a catalyst to address critical national issues related to agriculture, health, gender, education, and youth empowerment.

Through its education programs, it strives to improve access to ICT tools and the quality of the tools accessed by users by equipping schools with computer labs and training STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers on how to integrate ICT into teaching and learning. It works with schools and communities in several regions to donate computers and set up ICT labs through the Iteach ICT, Computer 4 Change, and Connecting the Unconnected projects.

Its Girls in Tech program focuses on closing the gender gap in the technology sector by educating, inspiring, and equipping high school girls with coding and digital technology skills and resources so they can pursue opportunities in STEM fields. 

Meanwhile, its agricultural program aims to enhance the skills of smallholder farmers by offering affordable, organic, and ecologically sustainable farming techniques. The organization also runs an entrepreneurship training program called the WeThrive Program.

The organization has set up over 4 digital labs and more than two STEM labs. It has already trained more than 798 young people, more than 69 entrepreneurs, and more than 226 teachers in over 105 schools. It has reached over 19,595 students and donated over 525 computers.

In recognition of its outstanding work, Africa ICT Right won the Motorola Solutions Foundation award in 2018 for its Girls in Tech program. In 2021, it was the winner of the best e-health company award at the Africa Technovate Awards.

Melchior Koba

Posted On lundi, 30 octobre 2023 15:47 Written by

Driven by a passion for technology and a strongdedication to sustainable agriculture, heconsistentlypioneers new ideas and challenges conventionalnorms. His contributions have not onlyrevolutionized the technologysector in Morocco but have alsosignificantlyinfluenced the country's agricultural economy

Amine Zarouk (photo) is the founder and CEO of Green OpenLab, a Moroccan startup offeringinnovativetechnological solutions for sustainableagriculture.

He graduated, in 2006, from Paris-East Créteil University (UPEC) with a master’s in distributed information systems. He alsoholds a diploma in key account sales force engineering, obtainedin 2007 from NEGOCIA, an international sales and commercial negotiation training center.

In 2021, fueled by his passion for new technologies and entrepreneurship, hefounded Green OpenLab, a pioneeringcompanydriving digital transformation in the industrial and agricultural sectors. The company supports agritech startups by providingcustomized technologies to foster efficient and sustainable agricultural practices. Its mission is to empowerfarmers by enhancingproductivity, optimizingresources, and modernizing agricultural value chains

Green OpenLabpromotes the adoption of digital tools for enhancing agricultural efficiencywhileprioritizingenvironmentalsustainability and resource conservation. Additionally, it serves as a dynamic hub for fostering innovation, collaboration, and practicaldemonstrations, catering to younginnovators, PhD students, and researchers.

Amine Zaroukisalso the co-founder and CEO of Stratfield, a joint ventureheadquartered in Casablanca. Foundedin 2021, the company has a delivery center and an innovation center in Fez, an expertise and training center in Tangier, and a subsidiary in Munich for technologytransfer.

Beforefounding Green OpenLab, heworked at Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance (Sofinco) in France ashead of developmenturbanizationin 2007. In 2008, heco-founded G-Fit Maroc, a companyfocused on outsourcing technology services, whichin 2014 joined the Alten Group and becameAlten Delivery. He led the companyuntil 2021.

Amine Zarouk has alsoworked for the Fédération des technologies de l'information, des télécommunications et de l'offshoring (APEBI), an organizationthatpromotes the development of the ICT sector in Morocco. Havingjoined the federationin 2011, hewas a member of the board of directors (2011-2019), president of the offshoring pole (2019-2020) and president (2022-2022) respectively.

Melchior Koba

Posted On vendredi, 27 octobre 2023 11:54 Written by

As an incubator, Leancubator organizes events, business growth programs, and challenges, helping to strengthen Algeria's innovation ecosystem.

Leancubator is a specialized Algerian innovation hub and incubator that supports sustainable and innovative projects in various sectors such as the blue and green economies, foodtech and fintech.

Founded in 2018 by Abdelfettah Herizi, Hichem Hadded, and Nesrine Ziad, it offers incubation and acceleration programs for startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and project carriers offering solutions to Africa's social and environmental challenges.

For startups, it provides personalized assistance, including coaching sessions tailored to their specific innovative projects. Additionally, it facilitates access to a diverse network of investors and practical resources, such as workspace, meeting rooms, and essential IT equipment. 

The incubator provides various programs, notably the renowned Algeria Startup Challenge, designed to fuel the growth of startups and innovative projects by offering them the necessary support, resources, and networks to materialize their innovative ideas.

Each year, the Algeria Startup Challenge holds challenges under various themes. In the framework of the fourth edition of the challenge,  it launched the Harm Reduction Initiative Awards, an innovation challenge aimed at Algerian project promoters offering innovative solutions around best practices in risk reduction, such as industrial, food, health, road, and ecological risks, and so on.

Other challenges include the Fintech Startup Challenge for fintech, insurtech, and regtech, and the Foodtech Startup Challenge for agritech, aquatech and food safety solutions.

Since its creation, Leancubator has participated in over 3,000 projects and organized more than 40 innovation challenges. It has supported 350 startups and innovative projects and collaborated with over 50 economic and institutional partners. These partners include BNP Paribas, WestMED, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Leancubator has received several awards, notably recognition from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Startups, and SMEs, for its active role in fostering innovation and developing startups in Algeria. Additionally, it was honored as the top program for fostering skill development and innovation in the blue economy across the Western Mediterranean at the WestMED 2021.

Leancubator has also been recognized by Algeria's Commission d'Organisation et de Surveillance des Opérations de Bourse (COSOB) as an active player in supporting the development of fintech in the country. These activities and distinctions make the incubator a major player in innovation and entrepreneurship in Algeria and Africa.

Melchior Koba

Posted On vendredi, 27 octobre 2023 11:59 Written by

Chronic diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and diabetes are recurrent causes of death in Africa. Nneka Mobisson is one of the entrepreneurs fighting to improve the management of these illnesses on the continent.

Nneka Mobisson (photo) is a Nigerian pediatrician and entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1996), a Master's degree in Public Health from Emory University (1998), and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management (2004). 

She is also one of the co-founders and CEO of mDoc, a company dedicated to optimizing the end-to-end care experience for people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. The idea for mDOc stems from Ms. Nneka’s realization of the huge gap in the African healthcare system, in 2010, following her father’s death from a massive stroke. 

Leveraging the growing penetration of mobile technology, mDoc's digital platform connects people with chronic illnesses to a multidisciplinary team of healthcare practitioners. Experts can be reached from South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, the USA, the UK, and Nigeria. Patients can receive personalized support, through education and tools to improve self-management.

On September 25, 2023, the company was selected by Google as one of 30 artificial intelligence startups changing the future of healthcare. The other winners come from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Nneka Mobisson's professional career began in 1999 at the pharmaceutical company Merck, where she was a business analyst. She also worked at the World Bank as a consultant from 2003 to 2004. She was then hired as a resident physician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2007, she became a partner in the management consulting firm McKinsey. Before founding mDoc, she was the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)’s regional lead and Executive Director in Africa.

Her outstanding work has earned her several distinctions. In 2014, she was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Cartier Awards. A year later, she was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship, a “practical and personnel community for social entrepreneurs.”

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 26 octobre 2023 18:24 Written by

In collaboration with its local and international partners, Jacaranda works to provide young people with the opportunities and skills they need to realize their potential and contribute to the progress of their country.

Jacaranda Hub is a Zambian organization that aims to develop the youth’s skills in the fields of information and communication technologies (ICT) and entrepreneurship through its innovation hub. Founded in 2017 by Mara Zhanet Michelo, who is its CEO, its mission is to enable young people to participate in the creation of socio-economic impact and business value.

"Jacaranda Hub’s idea is to find, build, and mold propitious entrepreneurs. I believe that entrepreneurship is the most impactful way of creating sustainable change and development. It stimulates local economic growth, creates jobs, and reduces poverty. Empowering ambitious innovators to solve problems by converting ideas into reality is the ambitious goal that motivated the journey we are embarking on," explained Mara Zhanet Michelo in 2022.

Jacaranda Hub has three thematic axes. The first, JAC-LEARN, offers safe, resource-rich learning spaces with ICT facilities to promote entrepreneurship education, digital literacy, creativity, accessibility, and the ability to use ICT. The second, JAC-STARTUP & INNOVATION, facilitates the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem focused on innovation and business development. It supports startups and the creation of viable small and medium-sized enterprises. The final area is JAC-LIFESTYLE, which explores and promotes the concept of social entrepreneurship, the idea of using business to solve major social and environmental problems.

The organization has set up several other initiatives. One of the best-known is the Next Generation National Youth Incubation Challenge for young people aged 18 to 35. The program strengthens young people's ability to design and develop businesses. It focuses on identifying innovative opportunities and supporting young innovators and entrepreneurs through the ideation, validation, and scaling of new products and services that benefit end-users and create successful startups. 

It has also set up the Mosi-oa-Tunya Pitch, an investment-readiness program that matches viable startups with local and international investors. The program helps startups with high growth potential to design, measure, and adapt their activities and be ready for investments.  

Thanks to Jacaranda Hub and all its programs, Mara Zhanet Michelo was awarded Woman of the Year in Technology at the Techtrends Zambia Awards 2022.

Melchior Koba

Posted On jeudi, 26 octobre 2023 16:05 Written by
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