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Home Startups Vodacom Opens Call for Startups to Apply for its $215,000 Digital Accelerator Program

Vodacom Opens Call for Startups to Apply for its $215,000 Digital Accelerator Program

by Sam Wakoba
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Vodacom Tanzania Plc. has launched season two of its Tsh 500 million ($215,000) Digital Accelerator program seeking innovative startups to enable them develop their products, go to market and scale up from last year’s $150,000.

The Vodacom Digital Accelerator Program is looking for startups operating in fintech, edutech, healthtech, entertainment, tourism, agriculture, cybersecurity and e-commerce. Entrants should be 18 and above, have traction, ideally between Seed and Series A stages in Tanzania market. The team should also be building a scalable product or service with a significatnt total addressable market and a defensible growth model in the sectors mentioned above.

“Innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit are key ingredients for achieving the goal of a strong digital economy in Tanzania. Playing an enabling role is central to our mission. As such, we are always looking for collaborations and innovations that will fulfill this goal. We are justifiably proud and dedicated to our collaboration with Smart Lab to run the accelerator program for the benefit of innovative startups,” said Nguvu Kamando, Vodacom Tanzania Digital and VAS Director.

The call comes after the successful completion of the 2020-2021 cohort.The 2020/21 group finalists were Smart Class, an edtech platform; Hashtag Pools, an ecommerce operator; Ninsiima e-Dispensary and MyHi which deals in health incurance services who were filtered out of an initial field of 500 applicants from 18 regions.

Selected start-ups will go through an initial program that includes mentoring from top Vodacom and Smart Lab staff, and other respected professional mentors. Start-ups will also receive technology and creative support to launch and grow their start-ups from Smart Lab. Participants will get marketing strategy and support, business connection, partnership, and funding plus access to co-working space and hosting assistance. Vodacom will also leverage its wide customer base to enable the selected strartups to conduct market research and product development activities.

Elaborating on the upcoming season, Edwin Bruno, CEO and founder of Smart Codes said, “It is our vision to apply technology to have an impact in Africa and our mission is to empower brands, so we are extremely proud and grateful to partner with a company like Vodacom Tanzania whose own purpose ties in so well with us. Working together to create a platform for the tech savvy youth to build their brand, we look forward to reaching more Tanzanian startups and empowering the next generation of business innovation.”

Apart from The Digital Accelrator, Vodacom also runs another program called “Code Like a Girl” which aims to empower girls and young women to go futher in STEM subjects, think critically and gain valuable digital skills.The success of the program includes startups raising additional funding from investors, completing product development, and growing their teams so that they can execute faster and better.

Last year’s startups have been listed below;

SmartClass: Is an online platform that matches very qualified and certified tutors/experts to learners in remote areas who want to learn basic skills

BongoVocha: Coupon/discount platform for retailers and other businesses who want to attract customers through promotions and also get analytics/insights.

Study Buddy: Convenient e-learning resource platform for working professionals who are pursuing their professional qualifications despite their busy schedules.

Foodsasa: Online food ordering and delivery platform.

MyHi by Innovasie Ltd: Mobile app that enables seamless access to purchasing and accessing health insurance services for people with smartphones.

Cargo Fleet by Amora: App that connects truck & van owners to people who need their loads delivered.

Kasome International: Online platform providing a comprehensive video library of tutorials covering the secondary school curriculum, using the best recognized teachers in Tanzania.

TakaCycle: Mobile app for smart waste collection that provides rewards-for-recycling to help and incentivize people in low-income communities to capture value from their waste.

Ninsiima eDispensary: A mobile/web app and telegram bot for patients to book clinical officers for home visits.

Hashtag Pools:App that allows buyers of the same product or service to purchase in bulk so that they can all mutually enjoy maximum price discounts.

Ecoshilling by Hype: Payment collection platform for waste management companies.

Belltro: A tech company creating data driven products and data strategies to help organizations get better insights of their businesses and provide better customer experience.

Kisomo by Smartcore:Online platform for creation and distribution of digital learning materials which cover the local curricula and reflect the actual local learning environment.

Spot: An events discovery platform.

Wakala Search:Uber-like app that links mobile money users to reliable mobile money agents.

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