In furtherance of its goal of supporting over 10,000 African startups, Microsoft is partnering with GreenHouse Capital to accelerate 13 East and West African startups in the Scaleup Accelerator Program.
Earlier in March, Microsoft announced the launch of its Founders Hub, aiming at supporting over 10,000 startups across the continent, through free access to technology, coaching, and support for startups to move from one milestone to the next. Following this commitment, the big tech company is partnering with GreenHouse Capital to support startups that are pre-series A, and are looking to launch in new markets.
With this partnership, Microsoft aims at providing these African startups with access to new markets, technology infrastructure, technical skills, and funding opportunities to aggressively scale their solutions and leverage the knowledge and networks gained during the program. Therefore, these startups must have validated their business models and proven that their products are solving unique problems and are in high demand in the market.
This acceleration program is intended to run for 8 weeks and will feature a demo day session bringing global investors to meet the startup founders.
Furthermore, the program will include 12 instructor-led sessions, ten (10) workshops, and three (3) panel discussions. The goal of the sessions is to help the selected startup founders to gain knowledge on how to scale their startup ventures and achieve product-market fit. Some of the program modules include:
- Fundraising for Growth stage Companies
- Market Expansion & Operations
- Culture & Employee Benefits
- PR & Communications
- Marketing & Growth
- Sales and Business Development
- Technical Workshops
The 13 companies chosen for the accelerator program, consist of six (6) Male and seven (7) Female founders specifically chosen to allow for equal gender representation. GreenHouse Capital has been much at the forefront of supporting the growth of startups across the continent through its accelerator programs and has ensured that it drives equal participation and opportunity for women in tech to achieve the needed growth for their ventures.
The gender funding gap in Africa is abysmal – this can partly be attributed to unspoken biases during recruitment and due diligence processes that favour male founders over female founders. So, it was essential to me that that wasn’t the case here. I am immensely proud of the diversity of this program in terms of participants and facilitators and hope many others in the ecosystem follow suit and are more deliberate about their processes.
The startups selected for the Scaleup accelerator include:
- Ourpass (Samuel Eze)
- One Health (Adeola Alli)
- BuuPass (Sonia Kabra)
- GetEquity (Jude Dike)
- Gobeba (Lesley Mbogo, Peter NdianguI)
- Oystr (Ifedolapo Lawal)
- Afya Bora (Reginald Victor Runyoro)
- Chekkit (Dare Odumade)
- Zydii (Joyce Mbaya)
- Eight medical (Ibukun Tunde Oni)
- Herconomy (Ife Durosinmi-Etti)
- Pharmarun (Teniola Adedeji, Lola Aderemi)
- Mobiele (Ife Akintaju, Sayo Owolabi)
Startup investment in Africa this year has continued to its record-breaking streak, in spite of the funding winter that is sweeping across much of the global startup ecosystem. As such, part of the commitment of many companies and venture capital firms in Africa is to help startups to have robust business models to enable them to create palpable value as well as drive profitability. In this way, startups can be equipped early enough to escape the trap of undue reliance on investments for business survival.