12 student-owned African firms are supported by the Harvard-AWS NextGen Accelerator

20 Aug 2023

12 student-owned African firms are supported by the Harvard-AWS NextGen Accelerator

The NextGen Accelerator, a two-week founder boot camp for early-stage student creators from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and universities in Sub-Saharan Africa, has been selected by Harvard Innovation Labs and Amazon Web Services. Twelve of the 25 black-led startups were founded by African students studying at universities such as Nigeria's Federal University of Technology, Akure, South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, Kenya's University of Nairobi, African Leadership University, Ashesi University, and Ghana's University of Ghana. The selected entrepreneurs will receive $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credits and access to AWS specialists, as well as a grant from The Schultz Family Foundation to cover housing, food, and flight costs. Customer discovery, market validation, pitching, fundraising, and leadership abilities will be emphasized in the curriculum.

Ghana:

a. FeatheryCare (University of Ghana): Utilizes computer vision and robotics for better poultry management and reduced chick mortality rates during brooding.

b. LbH LC (University of Ghana): Connects smallholder farmers with financing, data-driven agronomy services, and premium markets.

c. Hurupay (Ashesi University): Offers a mobile wallet for African SMEs to accept stable-coin payments, mitigating local currency devaluations.

d. Sabon Sake (Ashesi University): Manufactures affordable organic soil boosters and provides regenerative agricultural training.

Kenya:
a. https://www.uonbi.ac.ke/ AfyaBridge (University of Nairobi): Links users to medical services based on proximity, affordability, and availability.

b. https://parksby.io/ Parksby (University of Nairobi): Facilitates finding and booking parking in urban areas with available spaces.

c. https://tawihealth.com/ Tawi Digital Health (University of Nairobi): Develops digital health solutions for people with non-communicable diseases.

d Quick Cart (St. Paul’s University): Enables 10-minute grocery delivery to African households.

Nigeria:
Acceede (Federal University of Technology, Akure): Provides a digital and flexible payment solution for quality education.

Rwanda:
HiQ Africa (African Leadership University): Utilizes data-tech to create a smart and sustainable FMCG market in Africa.

South Africa:
Puno (University of the Witwatersrand): Offers a fintech solution for small-scale farmers, providing crowd-sourced funds, insurance support, and market access.

Tanzania:
Smartdarasa (University of Dar es Salaam): Uses 2D, 3D, and AR technologies to enhance STEM education affordability and effectiveness.

These firms have been carefully selected by Harvard Innovation Labs and Amazon Web Services for the NextGen Accelerator, a transformative program that supports early-stage student founders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. These innovative ventures cover the industries of fintech, logistics, agritech, edtech, and healthtech. These entrepreneurs are positioned to make a great impact on both company and community through daily seminars on customer discovery, market validation, pitching, funding, and leadership. These entrepreneurs are set to influence a brighter future with $5,000 in AWS credits, access to experts, and critical awards.

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