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7 Women-Led Tech Startups Secure $70,000 in Funding from Standard Chartered Bank and Strathmore University

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Seven women-led startups have secured $70,000 in funding, marking the successful conclusion of the 6th cohort of the Women in Tech Incubator program, a partnership between Standard Chartered Bank and @iBizAfrica – Strathmore University. 

The award ceremony, themed “Leveraging Technology for Impact,” was a significant milestone for these female entrepreneurs who have been working tirelessly to make their tech-based businesses thrive.

The ceremony was presided over by Mr Imtiaz Khan, a Board Member of Standard Chartered Bank; Kariuki Ngari, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya; Dr Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor of Strathmore University, and Dr Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iBizAfrica Incubation Centre at Strathmore University.

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The 6th Cohort of the Women In Tech Program was launched in March 2023 and attracted over 250 startups from various sectors, including agriculture, finance, transportation, health, and construction. 

Fifteen women-led startups were shortlisted to undergo a three-month incubation training program covering aspects of business idea conceptualization, strategy formulation, Internet of Things (IoT), marketing, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

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 The Vice-Chancellor at Strathmore University, Dr Vincent Ogutu highlighted the importance of technology in daily life and emphasized the potential for a greater representation of women in the tech ecosystem if they receive the right mentorship and training. 

He said,” Recent statistics reveal a slight increase in female candidates filling tech roles, a positive trend that these programs aim to bolster.”

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The seven awarded women-led startups were chosen through a rigorous judging process involving industry experts and thought leaders. They demonstrated excellence in three main criteria:

  1. A female-led startup addressing socio-economic needs in Kenya.
  2. Innovation utilizing emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, AR/VR, 3D & 4D Printing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Drone Technology, and Biometrics.
  3. A business model aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 15 participants also received certificates of participation an addition for their professional portfolio.

The Women In Tech Top 7 startups for this year are:

  1. Sign with Us – A Sign language training institution based in Meru and online. The institution teaches sign language to anyone around the world who has a passion for sign language. 
  2. Saidiwa – A hailing app that aims to bridge the gap between unreliable public transportation and relatively expensive digital taxis. It introduces a novel driver-passenger pairing model that permits daily commuters to share taxi seats and share costs.
  3. Imani Health Wallet– An e-wallet that enables people to save specifically for healthcare. It breaks down large payments into piecemeal payments that one can pay easily over time before they need the healthcare service. 
  4. Know Learning Limited (Recess)– A platform that enables parents to participate in their children’s learning processes by partnering with teachers and schools to improve the learning outcome. It additionally ensures that schools and parents are on the same page through the facilitation of transparent and efficient dialogue on the progress of the child. 
  5. Panacare- A healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible healthcare services through telemedicine. The company leverages USSD technology to offer consultations, remote monitoring, and tools that help patients manage their health and well-being without the need for internet access or smartphone devices. 
  6. Rhea Soil Health Management Limited – An IOT soil analysis device that allows soil testing and agricultural extension services to smallholder farmers. A machine learning algorithm is then powered to make recommendations depending on the data shared. 
  7. Instruct Africa – They provide affordable legal solutions to professionals in the informal sector.

In today’s increasingly digitized landscape, emerging technologies have become essential for startup innovators to integrate into their ventures. 

AI startup funding in Kenya is valued at Sh13 billion, although the adoption rate of such technologies in Kenya remains relatively low compared to the global average.

Since its inception, the Women in Tech program has trained more than 64 women-led businesses, offering mentorship, advisory, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital, and investor forums. 

To date, 32 startups have been awarded over Sh1.2 million (USD 10,000) in seed funding, with the first five cohorts attracting over 2,000 applications.

The partnership between Standard Chartered Bank and Strathmore University, through @iBizAfrica, has provided vital support for women entrepreneurs in Kenya, encouraging innovation and technology adoption to drive economic growth and job creation.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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