More than 800 applications from 25 countries in Africa were received for the first FAST accelerator cohort. The countries with the most applicants included Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, and Egypt. Applicants represented a diverse mix of technology and cloud-based products and services serving residents and businesses throughout Africa. Industries represented by the application pool included AgTech, EdTech, HealthTech, FinTech and more.
“Microsoft believes that African startups are well-placed to become a cornerstone of the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal challenges. Participation in the FAST startup accelerator program will help these entrepreneurs capture available funding opportunities and plan for growth and future market expansion,” says Gerald Maithya, Startups Lead, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
“In partnership with the Microsoft team, we are bringing together a unique mix of technology business and innovative entrepreneurs to build and scale societally impactful solutions that enable digital transformation across industries, as well as an introduction to cloud and AI-integration tools designed to unlock new value for their businesses,” says Dave Ojika, founder and CEO, Flapmax.
FAST applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within the continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The first FAST accelerator cohort features the following startups:
- Capsa Technology (app.getCapsa.com)
: Online platform to buy and sell invoices for businesses in Africa
Nigeria | FinTech | SDG: No Poverty
- Silqu (www.Silqu.com): Africa’s most advanced proptech platform in real estate and technology
Kenya | PropTech | SDG: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- LegitCar (LegitCar.ng): Building Africa’s biggest vehicle data service
Nigeria | Automotive | SDG: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- VAIS (VAIS.ai): Comprehensive precision agriculture platform powered by AI & earth observation
Egypt | AgTech | SDG: Zero Hunger
- Snark Health (SnarkHealth.com): Partner with your doctor. Leverage your data. Pay less.
Kenya | HealthTech | SDG: Good Health and Well-being
- Pade HCM (PadeHCM.com): Automated HR for all African businesses
Nigeria | Enterprise Software | SDG: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- DayDone (www.DayDone.com.ng): eCommerce platform, digitizing Africa’s agriculture market
Nigeria | AgTech | SDG: Zero Hunger
- K-12 EdTech (K12plus.app): Asynchronous and synchronous kindergarten to 12th-grade education app
Kenya | EdTech | SDG: Quality Education
- Tumaini La Maisha (www.weareTLM.org): Pediatric oncology services
Tanzania | Government & Public Service | SDG: Good Health & Well-being
- Taimba (Taimba.co.ke): East Africa’s First Data-Driven Food Supply Chain Platform
Kenya | AgTech | SDG: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Wala Digital Health (WalaDigital.io): Digital platform for hospitals access to blood that saves lives
Ghana | HealthTech | SDG: Good Health and Well-being
- KaCyber Technologies (www.KaCyber.com) : Making seamless mobility a reality in Africa
Uganda | Mobility | SDG: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Flapmax also announced the launch of its new upskilling and reskilling platform, Flapmax Learn (Learn.Flapmax.com), which would be used during the twelve-week FAST program to facilitate technology and business masterclasses and certifications. The top 100 startups from the FAST applicant pool will receive complimentary access to the Flapmax Learn platform, including the accelerator learning modules and masterclasses.
Beginning March 21, the FAST accelerator cohort will engage in a broad range of activities, including training, business development, cloud & AI integration, fundraising and community building events designed to help them scale rapidly and sustainably. Microsoft engineering team members will work one-on-one with participants on co-innovation projects ranging from product integrations to new offerings. With the help of the Flapmax engineering team, the startup founders will access new technology tools and services. Participants will benefit from up to $250,000 in Microsoft Azure cloud credits, as well as access to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, including access to OpenAI APIs.