Uni:novators Startup-in-Residence program seeks startups founded by teams from 6 African universities

Co-Creation Hub has announced the call for application for the Uni:novators Startup-in-Residence program designed to inspire innovations in selected tertiary institutions in Africa – namely: University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Lagos (Nigeria), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Riara University (Kenya), University of Namibia (Namibia) and Namibia University of Science and Technology (Namibia).

The program will support 30 student-led innovations from the aforementioned universities in an effort to sustain and accelerate the participation of the academia in the innovation ecosystem in Africa.

As part of the program, eighteen of the student-led teams who scale through after a pitch demonstration will participate in a knowledge exchange with leading researchers in their fields and get the opportunity to travel to Germany for physical sessions to help to strengthen their prototypes. The selected teams will then receive funding and advisory services towards building and deploying their MVPs in the marketplace and in partnership with industry where applicable.

The Uni:nnovators Startups-in-Residence program will be administered by Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) with Make-IT in Africa, a project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The selected startup teams will benefit from capacity-building sessions to improve on their research-based innovations and build prototypes focused on Greentech and smart city solutions in specific sectors – Agriculture, Energy, Circular Economy, Water, and Healthcare.

The program will culminate in a two-day summit in Nairobi, Kenya, where startups will pitch to an international audience of investors and stakeholders as the represented universities showcase the critical role that Higher Education Institutions play in the broader innovation ecosystem on the continent.



  • Student: You must be a student of one of the aforementioned universities.
  • Degree: You must indicate whether you are studying for a Bachelor’s, Masters or a Doctorate
  • Travel: You must be able to travel within your country and abroad, thus having a valid passport by the date of travel.
  • Creativity & Innovation: Your idea must be innovative and unique, preferably research-based.
  • Viable and Feasible: Your idea must be realistic and logical i.e. solving a specific problem for a niche of customers with a sizeable market size.
  • Scope: Your idea must fall within the scope of the challenge as stated in the program overview.
  • Team: Ability or skill set to build out the proposed solution.

Calendar of Activities for the Uni:nnovators Program

  1. Design Sprint (6 Weeks): Participants will attend three workshops in the space of 6 weeks, spaced every two weeks. These workshops will focus on ideation, design thinking, and human-centered approaches to designing solutions and prototype development.
  2.  Demo Day: Each team will have the opportunity to present their solutions and prototypes to a panel of industry experts including investors, industry stakeholders, and the university community. Of all 30 startup teams, only 18 teams will proceed to the next phase of the program.
  3. Knowledge Exchange & Trip to Germany: In partnership with Make-IT in Africa, CcHUB will identify leading research institutions and HEIs in Germany in line with the fields of focus of the startup teams and are interested in providing research mentorship for the students and teams.
  4.  Industry Deployment Sprint (8 Weeks): The 18 selected startups will have the opportunity to work and reside in innovation hubs located within their campuses for a two-month period where we will work directly with them to deploy these solutions to the marketplace for real customers.
  5. Grand Demo Day + Summit in Nairobi: Finally, there will be a grand demo day to be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya where all the 18 startups from all three countries will pitch a demonstration of their product or solution, the traction they have gained in the marketplace and projections for their startups.

Co-creation Hub aims to spotlight youth-driven innovations on the continent towards increasing prosperity on the continent of Africa.

Applications to the Uni:novators Startup-in-Residence program can be submitted from this link: https://bit.ly/UninnovatorsApply. The entry deadline is August 4, 2023.


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