Pangea, an international start-up accelerator, has closed its application platform recording a total of 403 applications. Agriculture was the largest sector represented, comprising 27% of the applications. The growing interest in agriculture casts light to the doom-spelling statistics that indicate low youth involvement in the sector. Fintech came in second with 15%, while health, clean tech & renewable energy and education each made approximately 10% of the applications.
The two largest sources of these applications were Kenya and Nigeria with 220 applications from Kenya and 107 applications from Nigeria.
Pangea has partnered with a variety of ecosystem enablers and experts to in the assessment of the applications. The initial assessment indicates that approximately13.5% of the startups have strong chances for sustainability. This is a critical point of consideration given that Pangea is advocating for smart investment, matching start-ups with diaspora investors. Over 25.8% of the businesses also present a strong potential for scalability across the region and globally.
From the assessment, 40 startups will be selected to undergo a three-month milestone-based programme, during which they will be coached by international and national investors and experts. The programme will conclude with a demo day in April, where up to 5 startups will be chosen to receive initial funding of up to US $50,000 each.
In collaboration with Strathmore University’s @iBizAfrica, Pangea is aiming at identifying and recruting the most talented startups to solve local problems that respond to the global needs as identified in the UN’s sustainability goals. “The world community has defined 17 key challenges that must be solved to ensure a sustainable future. It is important to society, but it also represents one of the greatest business opportunities of our time as UN sustainability targets amounts to trillions of dollars” says Jonas Tesfu, Managing Partner at Pangea Accelerator
Applications to the pangea accelerator were open to African startups at either the pre-revenue stage or already generating a revenue. In addition, the startups were required to show that capability to create jobs in their respective communities.
“Increasingly, entrepreneurs and innovators are looking for more structured and comprehensive platforms to start and scale their businesses. With the combination of Pangea’s global startup experience, investor networks and expertise, coupled with @iBizAfrica’s strong startup entrepreneurship, technology and research background, Pangea is set to provide the most robust skills, growth and funding programme,” shared Bernard Chiira the incubator Manger at @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University.
Pangea’s plan comprises the launch of a crowd investment platform in June 2018, allowing accelerated startups further access to funding. Often faced with a lack of access to capital and the expertise to scale globally, startups in Kenya stand to benefit greatly from Pangea’s crowd investment platform and it’s business development networks across the globe.
Pangea advocates for smart money investment, which entails matching startups with investors who can not only provide funding but also have the expertise and experience to scale the startups in new markets. Pangea’s program fosters close collaboration between startups and investors early on through mentorship of startups, by investors, during acceleration.
The Pangea accelerator was founded last year by Udeze a Nigerian, together with Dede Koesah (Ghana/Togo), Gilbert Kofi Adarkwah (Ghana), and Jonas Tesfu (Eritrea), with the aim of supporting impact-driven African early-stage startups operating in fintech, agribusiness, greentech, edtech, and healthtech, among other sectors.