The first African cohort of innovators program started by Antler, an international startup generator firm held their demo in Nairobi, the first in Africa with ambitious plans to implement their business ideas in Kenya and expand across Africa.
On Wednesday, Startups founders who participated in a 6-month program in Kenya pitched their fintech ideas that use digital technologies to improve consumers experience, giving users convenience among other financial digital solutions showcased their projects in from of the audience of investors and fellow entrepreneurs in Nairobi at the Address.
Antler, one of the biggest startup incubators and accelerators expanded in Africa last year establishing its first entrepreneurship program in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Antler, during the inaugural program, the firm received more than 1200 applications, selected 37 brilliant founders from 13 countries and invested 100,000USD in 4 startups that were built at the program in the past 6 months. The four startups include AIfluence Inc., Digiduka, ChapChapGo and AnyiHealth. All of these brilliant founders met at Antler earlier this year to build their own company.
“I believe each of the founders has inspiring stories to tell, given they all met during the program, came up with the business idea, validated and turned it into a business that raised 100,000USD in only 11 weeks ,” said Selam Kedebe, Director of Antler, East Africa
Antler invests US$100,000 for a 20 percent equity stake in each company selected by its investment committee.
Some of the innovative ideas funders generated during the program seek to increase access to healthcare insurance in Nigeria and Kenya by offering digital loans, other founders are involved in online marketing using artificial intelligence other fintech solutions with hope to tap into the growing Africa’s digital economy
Roy Njoka, co-founder of Digiduka, one of four startups that were founded during the inaugural program says the startup allows local kiosks to become a distributor of digital services.
“This is basically important for people who need to pay in cash,” explained Mr. Njoka “despite the success of mobile money in Kenya there are people who completely avoid it because of the high transaction cost,”
According to the startup founders, the platform allows local kiosks to become resellers of digital services while still accepting cash and keeping the cost low for its customers.
The startup says it offers digital and financial services for the cash economy in Kenya through kiosks.
Harriet Kariuki, a tech entrepreneur and Co-founder of AfriJob, a firm that builds teams for African startups who attended the Nairobi Demo said all ideas pitched are innovative and have potential to become successful.
“There are great products out there that have very innovative and energized entrepreneurs who are solving real African problems ”
For instance one of the companies is using Artificial intelligence to match brands with influencers which as you can imagine the influencers marketing is growing at a very fast rate in Africa, noted Ms. Kariuki
Following its first program completion in Africa, Antler says that it is now, the world largest startup generator.
“The fact that Antler is enabling such high caliber founders to build these amazing companies in less than 6 months is also something we pride ourselves,” said Ms. Kedede adding that they hope others would follow suit in order to create a dent in the African and global startup ecosystem.