Kinaya Ventures launches Spring Fellowship, an accelerator program that will bring traction for tech-enabled startups, and the opportunity to enter into new markets
Today, Kinaya Ventures kicked off, in Accra,Ghana, a pan-African tour to source early/late stage startups in Africa – with proven track records and technological solutions capable to solve innovation challenges of industry leaders in Africa.
The goal of this Africa Tour is to present to local tech-enabled startups in AgTech, FoodTech, AdTech, MarTech and RetailTech, Spring Fellowship, a 4-month accelerator program that will start in end August 2019, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and the partners’ innovation challenges. The Africa Tour agenda has 7 meetups in Accra, Ghana; in Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; Cape Town, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; and lastly Dakar, Senegal.
Innovation challenges presented in the program rely on 3 principles, their direct contribution on improving African populations lives, their overrepresentation across several markets in Africa, and finally their proportion to disrupt an overall industry.
Nestlé is the first partner to announce its participation in the Spring Fellowship through an innovation challenge that will positively impact the food industry value-chain. The Nestlé R&D innovation challenge is targeted to local start-ups and universities in several locations across six countries. Nestlé will work collaboratively with them to identify sustainable and scalable science and technology solutions related to environmentally friendly packaging solutions, affordable nutrition and new routes to market. Nestlé joined the Spring Fellowship program as part of its R&D efforts to accelerate the innovation of products that meet local consumer needs in collaboration with external partners, including universities and start-ups.
ELLE Côte d’Ivoire has embarked in Spring Fellowship accelerator program in order to benefit from the creativity and technology know-how of tech enabled African startups. They are looking to design in collaboration with start-ups specialized in MarTech and AdTech a solution to improve customer relations and content sharing on specific social media.
“Scaling-up is one of the most critical stages of startups’ life. The startup must accept to put at risk its cost structure and face new markets. On the other hand, industry leaders through collaboration with startups that own a technological knowhow can effectively solve their innovation problem. Once the prototype is built, we accompany startups and corporate partners in the definition of a legal framework, which can lead to multi-country contracts. This is in line with Kinaya Ventures’ mission to connect the dots between startups, corporates and investors; and also to connect the dots between Francophone and Anglophone entrepreneurial ecosystems in Africa.” Explains Laïssa Mouen, CEO and Cofounder of Kinaya Ventures.
Selected startups will be teamed up with business and innovation teams of Spring Fellowship corporate partners in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, including the Nestlé R&D Center in Abidjan, for 4 months. This immersion will end with a Demo Day to pitch of their Proof of Concept in front of partners’ executive management and VC investors. Thus, the program allows startups to align their solutions to industry leaders needs and give them the opportunity to deploy them at a large scale.
In addition to acceleration sprints and a Demo day, Spring Fellowship fellows will benefit from Kinaya Ventures international network comprising more than 200 mentors, experts, industry leaders and investors; masterclasses led by world class experts; a desk in a coworking space in Abidjan; perks and advantages on IT and digital solutions; all worth of $USD 60,000, of which $USD 15,000 awarded cash to each team.
To take part in Spring Fellowship Africa Tour in one of the 7 countries or to apply to Spring Fellowship accelerator program starting in May 27, visit www.SpringFellowship.com.
About Kinaya Ventures
Kinaya Ventures, an open innovation platform co-founded by Laïssa Mouen and Eva Sow Ebion is based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and in Dakar, Senegal. Since 2018, the platform has been deploying accelerator and upskilling programs intended for African startup founders and intrapreneurs: Upscaler and Spring Fellowship.
In partnership with Facebook, Kinaya Ventures is offering “Boost with Facebook” that aims to support the digital transformation of 10,000 SMBs in 6 countries and 16 cities in Francophone Africa, Benin, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, DRC and Senegal.
The platform is also developing a seed funding activity for startups, as well as a consultancy activity for the implementation of innovation policies in large corporations, international institutions and governmental agencies