Investing in Innovation Africa (i3), a pan-African initiative for start-ups building the future of healthcare supply chains, has announced its second cohort of 29 companies.
i3, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft, and Chemonics, will give the early and growth stage startups a $50,000 grant, and tailored investment readiness support from leading accelerators Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, Startupbootcamp Afritech, and CcHUB.
According to Kieran Daly, Director, Global Health Agencies and Funds at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: “As countries and global health institutions work to expand access to priority products, we face an urgent need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems. Programs like i3 help us understand, support and engage with technology-driven solutions emerging across Africa, hand-in-hand with our partners.”
The 29 startups operate in 21 different African countries, 38% of the companies selected are women-led and 17% are conducting operations in Francophone Africa. The startups include: Afia Group Limited, Aimcare Health, Bena Care, BioCertica, Chari Pharma, CheckUps Medical, Chefaa, Dawa Mkononi, Drugstore Nigeria, Famasi Limited, Field Intelligence, Inc, GICMED, Grinta, Healthtracka, Kapsule, Medical Diagnostech, Medpharma Alliance International Limited, Octosoft Technologies Limited, Pharmarun, Pharmaserv Health Project Nigeria Limited, Reductiona, SASA Health Limited, Tech Care For All Eastern Africa, Technovera – Pelebox Smart Lockers, Tibu Health, UltraTeb, Waspito, WellaHealth, and Welo.
Yusuf Rasool, Director, Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at MSD, noted, “We are excited to have a second cohort of 29 innovative changemakers in African healthcare enter the program. Investing in these companies are a means of delivering lifesaving solutions and empowering communities through the access of critical medicines across the continent.”
In November, i3 will hold its annual Access to Markets event in Nairobi, between 14-15 of November to facilitate dynamic partnership dialogues between industry stakeholders, governments, donors, and large multilateral agencies. Last year, the first cohort of 31 companies supported forged 24 contracts, pilots, and strategic partnerships to date.
Jason Dinger, Senior Vice President of Global Products and Solutions at Cencora, “The range of startups selected for the second cohort reflects the breadth of talent and creativity in the African entrepreneurial landscape, and we look forward to witnessing the transformative impact of their solutions in the years to come.”