In January, startup Réseau launched an office in East Africa under its new Africa-focused brand Hindsight Ventures. Since its inception in February with the Wazo Challenge Tanzania, Startup Réseau has completed three venture bootcamps in the region, building a portfolio of 44 tech startups.
The Wazo Challenge East Africa is open to startups that are leveraging technology and building innovative and scalable solutions across financial services, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and education, and is aimed at 18-to-30-year-old entrepreneurs from 19 countries across the UN-designated Eastern Africa region.
Twelve startups will be selected to participate in a four-week program with Startup Réseau’s global network of mentors, investors, industry experts, and successful entrepreneurs. Each startup will receive US$150,000 in technology credits from FreshWorks, AWS, IBM, Digital Ocean, and HubSpot, among others.
“Our broader thesis is that Africa has African problems to be solved by African talent, by leveraging technology and that’s what we are here to enable through our programs. Having started out with Tanzania as our beach-head, our vision has always been to be a pan-Africa operator,” said Ajay Ramasubramaniam, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Startup Réseau.
“We aim to build Wazo Challenge as a flagship annual programme that operates a country version and a regional version in Eastern Africa. We did our first country version in Tanzania, maybe next year we will do Kenya and then Uganda, and so on. However, we will have an annual East African version that will open up the programme to tech entrepreneurs from the extended Eastern Africa region.”