Nine Kenyan startups have made it to a shortlist of 11 start-ups who will be considered for funding of up to 50,000 USD per startup by Pangea last week.
Pangea is a platform for connecting African startups with international investment & expertise, has shortlisted the 11 start-up companies drawn from Kenya, Egypt, and Nigeria.
Kenya had the most number of startups on the list with nine while Egypt and Nigeria had one respectively. Jane Save Ndungo, a senior market advisor at Innovation Norway, disclosed that the selection panel, consisting of experts from Innovation Norway, BDO EA, Mastercard Foundation and Longitude Finance, considered the process that got the 11 startups as a tough exercise.
“The initial expectation was that we would settle on 10 companies, but we ended up with a list of 11. This is evidence that a good number of the start-ups made a strong business case. We were spoilt for choice,” she explained.
Pangea CEO, Jonas Tesfu, congratulated all the participating companies, observing that the local business environment presents quite an attractive prospect for investors. He is confident that investors will find good opportunities for investment based on the quality of businesses represented on the Pangea program.
Jonas also disclosed that Pangea set to launch a crowd investment platform in June 2018. The launch will enable accelerated startups that didn’t make it to the top eleven to have further access to funding. Jonas clarifies that there will still be efforts geared towards linking most of the start-ups on the acceleration program with potential funders and other resource providers depending on their needs.
Pangea, itself founded by Africans in the diaspora, aims to engage the African diaspora in investing in African startups through its crowd investment platform.
Pangea has been running an acceleration program, in partnership with Liquid Telecom,@iBizAfrica among other partners, for 40 start-ups aimed at providing milestone-based capacity-building for 12 weeks.
The collaboration with Strathmore’s @iBizAfrica has seen start-ups benefit from business and innovation experts drawn from different business and innovation scenes. Through Liquid Telecom the startups have had access to technical expertise and mentorship from tech giants, such as Liquid Telecom’s CTO, Ben Roberts. Moreover, Microsoft has provided the accelerator’s startups with free Microsoft Azure.