After careful assessment from over 200 applications across 20 African countries, 10 startups have been selected to take part in Co-Creation Hub’s PitchDrive II, a deep tech tour of five Asian cities over the course of 14 days in partnership with Google for Startups.
The first edition of the tour in 2017 took 14 startups from across Africa through 5 cities in Europe as they interacted with various technology communities and key stakeholders. On this edition of the tour, the focus turns to Africa’s deep technology and hardware sectors, both of which have seen a steady rise in development, innovation and reputation.
Last year, Google set up its first AI lab in Ghana and Facebook kicked off a deep tech-focused accelerator in Nigeria.
The startups selected for the Asia tour include three from Nigeria, two from Kenya and one each from Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Uganda, and Rwanda.
They are Moroccan safety IoT device company Casky; AC Group, a Rwandan smart transport solution company, Nigeria’s Gricd Frij, a cold chain technology for the transportation of healthcare and agricultural produce and Access Afya, a Kenyan primary healthcare social enterprise using technology to deliver affordable and effective health access.
Others include CHIL AI Lab which leverages AI to improve cancer diagnostic services; taeillo a Nigerian furniture and design company leveraging mixed reality to improve customer experience; Enova Robotics from Tunisia which specialises in mobile robot development especially for security purposes; Flare, a Kenyan uber-like company which aggregates ambulance/emergency options for easy access; LIFI-LED, an Ivorian energy startup providing electricity and internet connectivity to difficult-to-access communities, and Nigeria’s Reliance HMO, which employs a consortium of tools to make health insurance accessible and affordable.
Hosted by Co-Creation Hub in partnership with Google for Startups and other local partners, the tour will see the selected participants engage with, learn from and form beneficial relationships with the advanced technology ecosystems in the cities in the tour itinerary. The startups will also have the chance to explore funding opportunities, engage with manufacturers and find newer ways to scale their operations in their host countries and beyond.
The tour is set to begin on August 21, 2019, with all the participants meeting at CcHUB’s Design Lab in Kigali, Rwanda for a two-day boot camp. The team will continue to Singapore from where they will travel through Tokyo, Yokohama, Seoul, and Shenzhen to Hong Kong, the final city on the itinerary. They will engage with corporate organizations like Transsion Holdings, Dentsu Ventures, Google Korea, Samsung C & T, Yamaha, Kepple VC and more. In Yokohama, the startups will be hosted to a pitch event by JETRO as part of the high profile TICAD7 conference.
In typical Pitchdrive tradition, stories from the tour will be curated in images, film and text in partnership with TechCabal. The TechCabal team will follow the founders on their Asian journey as they talk about the challenges that come with running businesses in their various countries and their aspirations for the future. You can follow the tour at stories.pitchdrive.xyz