A total of nine African startups and projects have been selected to join the 2018 MIT Solver Class as part of thirty-three African Solver teams who made the cut at the just-concluded MIT Solve Global Challenge final which was held in New York last Sunday. Amongst the other perks that come with making the MIT’s final list of innovative enterprises, each of these nine startups is now entitled to a cash reward worth USD 10 K to fund their offerings. Other benefits include support and mentorship from the Solve community.
The Solve initiative which is a creation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has its focus centred on adopting, incorporating, and implementing crowd-solutions for global challenges that are associated with health, economic prosperity, education, and sustainability. This it does by serving up a platform that supports open innovation. Over the next year, the selected African enterprises, as well as their counterparts from other parts of the globe, will be looking to leverage some of the resources of MIT’s Solve initiative with a view to furthering the development of their solutions.
This year’s edition of the MIT Solve Challenge is believed to have drawn interest from up to 110 countries with around 1150 solutions submitted as entries in the four challenge categories – Coastal Communities, Frontlines of Health, Teachers and Educators, and Work of the Future. These initial entries are said to have been trimmed to a final list which comprised the 60 finalists that slugged it out in the grand finale, from where nine African startups and projects grabbed a share of the spoils.
The trio of Nigerian health-tech startup, LifeBank, Kenyan social enterprise, Access Afya, and Rwandan non-profit, The Ihangane Project, are amongst winners in the Frontlines of Health category, which entitles them to the cash reward. Other African innovations selected in this category include Ada4CHW, Sexperto.co, Neopenda, MediCapt, and Refugee Health Workforce Answer To Global Skill Shortage.
The winners in Teachers and Educators category include Kenyan edtech startup, Eneza Education, Ghana’s Practical Education Network, and another Kenyan enterprise known as Moringa School. Century Tech, Education Modified, Livox, StoryWeaver, and Talking Points, are amongst other African enterprises that made the cut in this category.
Lynk; a Nairobi-based online platform for Kenyan artisans, was selected as a winner in the Work of the Future category. Other solutions that were selected alongside the Kenyan enterprise include Apli, Contratados.org, Plastics For Change, Refractored.ai, Shimmy Upskill, ULTRA, and VirtualGrasp.
Green Keeper Africa from the Benin Republic was rewarded as a winner in the Coastal Communities category, alongside fellow winners in the form of Nigeria’s solar power solution, ColdHubs. Also selected in this category were Green Stream Technologies, GROW Oyster Reefs!, Highland Rice Farming, ISeeChange, Marauder Robotics, Maritime Blockchain Labs, and Waves2O.
Image Source: MITNews