The second batch of 29 firms for Investing in Innovation Africa (i3), a pan-African initiative for start-ups creating the future of healthcare supply chains, has been revealed. The goal of i3, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Chemonics, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), is to aid in the commercialization of promising early- and growth-stage businesses. Selected entrepreneurs receive a $50,000 award, connections to key donors, governments, and industry leaders, as well as specialized investment readiness help from top accelerators Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, Startupbootcamp Afritech, and CcHUB.
The 29 selected start-ups provide digitally enabled healthcare supply chain solutions across 21 different African nations. In addition to providing inventory management services for pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals, supply chain data analytics, product protection, product visibility, and other services, innovators are establishing online pharmacies and telemedicine businesses. 17% of the chosen businesses are operating in Francophone Africa, and 38% of them are run by women.
Following is a list of the chosen businesses in alphabetical order: 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, Welo, SASA Health Limited, Tech Care For All Eastern Africa, WellaHealth, Technovera – Pelebox Smart Lockers, Waspito, Tibu Health and UltraTeb.
Selected innovators will profit from the annual Access to Markets event of the i3, which will take place in Nairobi between November 14 and 15. The occasion promotes lively partnership discussions between key business players, governments, donors, and significant international organizations. Through mutually beneficial contracts, pilot initiatives, and investments, connections are formed to propel the commercialization and scalability of the start-ups. To date, 24 contracts, pilots, and strategic alliances have been formed by the initial batch of 31 companies funded by i3 last year.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Kieran Daly said, “We face an urgent need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems as countries and global health institutions work to expand access to priority products. Together with our partners, programs like i3 enable us to comprehend, support, and interact with technology-driven solutions that are emerging throughout Africa.
“We are thrilled to have a second cohort of 29 innovative changemakers in African healthcare enter the program,” said Yusuf Rasool, Director, Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at MSD. Through the distribution of essential medications across the continent, investing in these businesses paves the way for the empowerment of communities and the delivery of lifesaving remedies.
Senior Vice President of Global Products and Solutions at Cencora, Jason Dinger “We look forward to witnessing the transformative impact of their solutions in the years to come. The range of startups selected for the second cohort reflects the breadth of talent and creativity in the African entrepreneurial landscape.”
Leading technology centers on the continent, including CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp AfriTech for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa, and Villgro Africa for East Africa, operationalize i3, which is supervised by Salient Advisory and SCIDaR.