Twelve African tech startups have been selected for the first cohort of the FAST startup accelerator, created by Microsoft in partnership with Flapmax and designed to strengthen and scale Africa’s digital ecosystem.
The 12 include Ghana’s e-health startup, Wala Digital Health, a digital blood service modernizing the process of going from volunteer donors to those needing transfusions. Wala is reputed for saving lives by providing access to safe blood and blood products in Ghana.
Four of the selected companies are based in Nigeria, namely Capsa Technology, an online platform to buy and sell invoices for businesses; LegitCar, which is building Africa’s biggest vehicle data service; Pade HCM, an automated HR platform for all African businesses; and DayDone, an e-commerce platform digitising Africa’s agriculture market.
Another four are from Kenya, in the shape of prop-tech platform Silqu, e-health startup Snark Health, educational app K-12 EdTech, and data-driven food supply chain platform Taimba, while the remaining three are Egyptian agri-tech startup VAIS, Tanzanian e-health service Tumaini La Maisha, and Ugandan mobility company KaCyber Technologies.
The 12-week FAST programme, which begins next week, brings together startups from six different countries and serving nine industries, selected from more than 800 applications from 25 countries.
FAST applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within the continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The FAST accelerator cohort will engage in a broad range of activities, including training, business development, cloud and AI integration, fundraising and community building events designed to help them scale rapidly and sustainably. Microsoft engineering team members will work one-on-one with participants on co-innovation projects ranging from product integrations to new offerings.
With the help of the Flapmax engineering team, the startup founders will access new technology tools and services. Participants will also benefit from up to US$250,000 in Microsoft Azure cloud credits, as well as access to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, including access to OpenAI APIs.
“Microsoft believes that African startups are well-placed to become a cornerstone of the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal challenges. Participation in the FAST startup accelerator programme will help these entrepreneurs capture available funding opportunities and plan for growth and future market expansion,” said Gerald Maithya, startups lead at the Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.