5 startups took part in the 1st Demo day of the NINJA accelerator in Kenya. The startups are Kwara, ZanaAfrica, Sokowatch, Cinch Markets, and Amitruck. They all had an opportunity to showcase their disruptive businesses. This is the 1st cohort of the Japanese-led acceleration program and is powered by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and powered by Double Feather Partners, Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory, Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support, and GrowthAfrica.
A 12-week intensive acceleration program preceded the demo day that redesigned a virtual experience aimed at minimizing health risks that prioritize participant’s safety during the pandemic. Organizers announced that the 2nd cohort will remain open to applications from August 8th to September 5th. An online information session was also held on August 23rd.
Viewers worldwide tuned in to watch 5 startups pitch their businesses on the first day of the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya. The virtually held event gave attendees a chance to network, and visit each other startup’s virtual booth that contained videos, institutional profiles, contacts, brochures, and investor-friendly information.
The participating startups were Sokowatch an e-commerce and logistics startup allowing merchants to restock products while giving free same-day delivery and financing. Kwara is a digital banking platform that converts savings cooperatives into digital banks. Cinch Markets helps aggregate smallholder farmland into commercial agriculture providing greater revenue streams for farmers. Amitruck is a digital marketplace connecting clients to truck drivers on secure, convenient, and transparent platforms. ZanaAfrica is a venture addressing the unmet needs of the menstruation industry through Nia (a feminine hygiene product).
Moving forward JICA is looking to support the growth journey of all participating startups. Keiji Katai, the Senior Director of Private Sector Development at JICA said she was “pleased” with the outcomes and has learned a lot from the first cohort. The knowledge will help improve the quality of future programs.