Flapmax, Microsoft unveil second cohort of FAST Accelerator advancing Africa's digital ecosystem with 12 startups - The EE

Flapmax, Microsoft unveil second cohort of FAST Accelerator advancing Africa’s digital ecosystem with 12 startups

Flapmax announced that the twelve companies are selected for second cohort of FAST Accelerator startup programme, created in partnership with Microsoft to help build up and scale Africa’s digital ecosystem. Following conclusion of its 2-week online bootcamp, which saw 60+ tech companies participate in online training with experienced mentors, FAST Accelerator’s cohort of 12 startups will progress to a 5-week complete acceleration experience in Silicon Valley, California starting in October.

“Microsoft believes that African startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well-positioned to become a bedrock for the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal and economic challenges. Participation in the FAST Accelerator programme will help these entrepreneurs capture growth opportunities and expand their market reach,” says Mame-Fatou Gueye, SME programme manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.

The FAST Accelerator programme received over 1200 applications from 35 countries in Africa, spanning a diverse range of industry sectors, including financial services (128 applications), healthcare (95 applications), agriculture (235 applications), transportation and logistics (60 applications), clean technology and energy (57 applications), and creative media & entertainment (40 applications). Applicants represented a broad mix of cloud-based products and services serving businesses throughout Africa, harnessing AI to drive creation, enhance productivity, and address critical challenges in their respective domains.

“At Flapmax, our mission is to build societally impactful solutions that harness the power of AI to transform multiple industries through long-term partnerships with startups, SMEs, and global enterprises. Collaborating with technology partners like Microsoft and Intel, we are assembling a unique fusion of cutting-edge AI technologies, business development strategies, and global-scale growth opportunities for Africa and other emerging markets. Our objective is to empower startups and underrepresented entrepreneurs to rapidly and sustainably scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst.” says Dave Ojika, founder and CEO of Flapmax.

FAST Accelerator 2023 (FA23) applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FA23 cohort features the following startups:

  • Zeeh Africa (FinTech): AI-powered open banking platform connecting businesses to financial data
  • Sumundi (eCommerce): Intelligent eCommerce platform for Africa’s retail businesses
  • Cotrust Equity (FinTech): The Uber for micro-lending in Africa
  • Trucki (Supply Chain): AI-powered haulage infrastructure connecting cargo stakeholders
  • Orange VFX (creative media): Delivering high-quality animation and visual effects that help African businesses
  • 10mg Pharma (healthtech): AI-driven cost savings on medications for chronic pain patients
  • Wallx (FinTech): Payment and business solution for small business owners
  • Moosbu (FinTech): Empowering SMEs with AI for sales and financing
  • KCG Aquatec Fish Farming (AgTech): Aquaculture infrastructure helping fish farmers grow their businesses sustainably
  • Aibanc (FinTech): AI-powered banking for high earners not rich yet (HENRY)
  • Zendawa Africa (HealthTech): Enabling neighborhood pharmacies to sell online
  • Greenbii (FinTech): AI-driven asset financing and software management platform for SMEs

Beginning October 23, FA23 cohort will participate in batch of activities, including training, AI integration, business development, fundraising, and various other events. They will work closely with Intel and Microsoft on co-innovation projects, receive sales and marketing support, and gain go-to-market enablement to broaden their audience reach. Additionally, members of Flapmax engineering team will assist startups in applying optimised large language AI models (LLMs), as well as in scaling and fine-tuning these models on Microsoft Azure and Intel platforms.

Previous participants of the online bootcamp programme had following to say:

“It is inspiring to learn what is happening in the AI and tech space across sectors and to interact with cohort members and speakers who are experts in their fields.” says cohort member HealthX Africa.

“This will provide us with mentorship, networking and fundraising opportunities with global startups. This is a huge one for us and we are more than excited to embark on this adventure!” says Dataleum.

“It was such a great privilege participating in the FAST Accelerator programme! Thank you for the phenomenal classes and the opportunity to build new cross-national networks with other amazing entrepreneurs creating global solutions to local problems with one single aim to make the world a better place for everyone!” says Ricard Oboh, co-founder and creative director of Orange VFX Studios.

Flapmax has also announced the introduction of its digital matching platform, FAST Portal, designed to connect investors with startups. FAST Portal will be leveraged to facilitate introductions between investors, partners, and startups within FAST Accelerator community. Corporate partners and organisations are invited to join us in our mission to empower entrepreneurs and creators in underserved markets around world.

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