iHUB, Mastercard Foundation announce 12 Kenya-based start-ups selected for second cohort of EdTech Fellowship

iHUB Kenya has announced twelve innovative EdTech start-ups joining the second cohort of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship. Launched in 2023, the EdTech Fellowship program, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is an acceleration program that provides industry support, scalability support, and funding to technology-driven education solutions that transform learning across Kenya and Africa. It is designed to support EdTech companies across Africa that are addressing learning challenges across K-12, tertiary education, vocational training and out-of-school learning.

This year’s call for applications to the second cohort received diverse technologies and solutions from those seeking to improve access to quality education and enhance learning outcomes through technology-driven approaches.

“We are enthusiastic about the potential of the selected start-ups to enhance the face of EdTech in the region. After the success of cohort I in 2023, we are excited about the second cohort’s potential to add to better education outcomes for learners in Kenya,” said Nissi Madu, Managing Partner at iHUB Kenya.

The 12 Fellows selected for the 2024 Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship cohort at iHUB Kenya are:

  1. Dals Learning is a digital platform providing learners access to interactive, engaging, comprehensive, and approved digital educational content covering the entire primary school curriculum.
  2. FUNDIS APP is on a mission to enhance the productivity of Africa’s artisans. Through its comprehensive digital platform, Fundis enables artisans to document their work and portfolios, get assessed and graded, access continuous upskilling, and get certified/accredited for job-matching.
  3. Soma Siri Afrika offers an innovative educational product that combines psychology, AI, and analytics to transform learning experiences for children and youth across Africa while preparing them for success in the 21st century.
  4. Uptyke fosters inclusivity for learners through its diverse range of accessible educational digital content for K-12 learners, designed to ensure inclusion for all.
  1. eKitabu Studio KSL is an innovative and inclusive digital content solution that develops early-grade reading materials in Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) to help learners build communication and language skills and become literate.
  2. Kuze.ai is an AI-enabled platform that provides learners with personalized learning experiences through its precision education infrastructure to drive accessibility, particularly in underserved areas.
  3. Ultratude Tech Ltd (Mzizi School ERP) is bridging the gap between key educational stakeholders through a comprehensive school management system with a rich repository of digital learning content approved by KICD and accessible to parents, students, and teachers.
  4. SomaChat Services a digital learning platform, transforming the learning experience for Kenyan students with its suite of AI-powered educational tools, accessible through WhatsApp.
  5. NABU a digital content solution providing culturally relevant mother-tongue and curriculum-aligned learning resources, ensuring equitable access to quality educational resources for all learners.
  6. Esoma Solutions an online learning platform that provides teachers and learners with digital learning materials to foster Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) through adaptive and personalized learning paths.
  7. Kurasa a comprehensive and inclusive solution that enhances the teaching and learning experience in K-12 education through innovative tools that enable the delivery of competency-based education more effectively and efficiently.
  8. Recess an innovative solution revolutionizing school management through personalized educational content, fostering student engagement, and facilitating transparent communication between educators and parents.

Over the course of the Fellowship, the twelve selected start-ups will receive technical and advisory resources and mentorship, including access to courses on the science of learning and access to a global network to help scale their impact.

“Our partnership with tech hubs such as iHUB Kenya, has increased access to quality and relevant learning for Kenya’s and Africa’s underserved learners through home-grown technology-enabled solutions. The EdTech solutions by iHUB Kenya’s 2023 cohort reached 32,000 learners, and we look forward to greater impact this year,” said Joseph Nsengimana, Director of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

By supporting start-ups that leverage technology to address the most pressing educational challenges, iHUB aims to increase access to quality, relevant, and inclusive learning for all, especially young learners in underserved communities. iHUB Kenya, which provides advisory support in investment, marketing, learning science, and product development, has a strong track record of facilitating impact on the EdTech sector through various initiatives. The Fellows will also receive up to $100,000 equity-free funding and post-program advisory support of up to 12 months.

iHUB is an innovation hub and tech community center based in Nairobi, Kenya. iHub is a nexus point for technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, and tech companies in East Africa. It provides a platform for networking, collaboration, and the development of innovative solutions to local and global challenges.

The Mastercard Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and one of the largest foundations in the world. It works with visionary organizations to advance education and financial inclusion to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous youth in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. Established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company, the Foundation is an independent organization separate from the company, with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. Its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and leadership.

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is an entrepreneurship acceleration program designed to support promising, African EdTech companies. Implemented in partnership with innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa, the Fellowship provides select EdTech companies with critical business and financial support, as well as insight into the science of learning, preparing them for scale, sustainability, and impact. The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship was launched in 2019 by the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning and supported 12 African EdTech companies from seven countries in its first year, reaching over 800,000 learners. The goal of the Centre is to partner with 12 Tech Hubs to support over 250 EdTech companies and reach at least 1.8 million young people by 2025.


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