TechInAfrica – Kinaya Ventures in partnership with Nestlé launched Spring Fellowship—a 4-month accelerator program—on May 27, 2019, in Accra, Ghana. The program initiative is part of its pan-African tour that aims at supporting tech-enabled startups in AgTech, FoodTech, AdTech, MarTech, and RetailTech.
The accelerator program will start by the end of August 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to the program, there will be innovation challenges which will focus on three main principles: direct contribution on improving African people’s lives, over-representation in African several markets, and the proportion to disrupt an overall industry.
The first partner of Spring Fellowship program, Nestlé, participates in an innovation challenge that will bring a positive impact on the food industry value-chain. The challenge is called the Nestlé R&D innovation challenge and targeting local startups and universities in some locations across six countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
Nestlé’s participation in the Spring Fellowship’s innovation challenge is part of its R&D efforts to accelerate the innovation of products that meets consumer needs. To succeed in the innovation challenge, Nestlé will also work with external partners, including universities and startups.
Apart from Nestlé, another partner of Spring Fellowship program is ELLE (Côte d’Ivoire). Its participation in the program is to take advantage of the creativity and technology from tech-enabled African startups, particularly MarTech and AdTech startups to improve customer relations and content sharing on specific media.
CEO and Co-Founder of Kinaya Ventures, Laïssa Mouen, said: “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 a collaboration with startups that own technological know-how 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.”
Selected startups will get a chance to collaborate with business and innovation teams of Spring Fellowship corporate partners in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for 4 months. The program will end with a Demo Day where they will pitch their Proof of Concept in front of partners’ executive management and VC investors.
In addition to collaboration and funding opportunity, selected startups will get benefit from 200 mentors, experts, industry leaders, and investors from Kinaya Ventures’ international network. Furthermore, there will be masterclasses led by world-class experts, benefits on IT and digital solutions that worth US$60,000 of which US$15,000 will be awarded to each of them in cash.
For further information about the Spring Fellowship Africa Tour in one of the seven countries or apply for the accelerator program, please 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.