Tech by Her Accelerator Programme: MEST and Make-IT in Africa announce 2020 Cohort

MEST, in partnership with Make-IT-in-Africa is pleased to announce the first cohort of the Tech By Her accelerator program. The initiative, which was launched earlier this year, called for female technology founders in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya to apply for one of the ten slots available for a 3-month intensive accelerator program for technology-based start-ups.

Over 500 founders applied during the two month application period. The top candidates went through a two-stage shortlisting process which included an interview with a panel of experts and leading entrepreneurs in the field. In evaluating the selected candidates, panellists considered the profile of the founders, their businesses as early-stage tech startups that have achieved commercialization and monetization phase with a demonstrated potential to scale, and the innovative use of a business model that incorporates social impact.

After weeks of deliberations and reviews, ten (10) female founders from Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya have been selected to form the 2020 cohort. These founders have proven themselves to be leaders in their field and pioneers for female-led technological advancement in Africa.

The participants will attend three workshops during May 2020:

  • #1:Doing Brave Business: Succeeding as an Entrepreneur in Africa: Open discussion between industry experts
  • #2: Storytelling: This webinar addresses the challenges of standing out from the competition, whether you are competing against other startups vying for investor funds or competing against other players in your space for customers or clients. In this webinar, you can expect to learn some valuable ways to differentiate your brand and create competitive advantage, using the art and science of business storytelling.
  • #3: How to win new customers: Starting a business can be a rollercoaster experience as you constantly look for ways to deliver value to your customers. This can be an overall rewarding experience especially when you are able to figure out how to offer value to your first set of customers. Finding those customers in itself is an art and has to be tailored to your specific kind of business.

About Tech by Her

Tech by Her, which is powered by MEST with support from Make-IT in Africa, was created to support growing female-led tech startups in becoming globally competitive and sustainable brands. The program targeted at start ups led by African women and centered in Africa, aims to develop a community of Female entrepreneurs through series of mentoring activities. The program also seeks to encourage entrepreneurship among females in Africa by equipping participants with the needed knowledge, tools, and resources to scale and sustain their businesses in a competitive environment.

Tech by Her began with a two months application period which saw over 500 applicants competing for only 10 slots. After a meticulous shortlisting process by seasoned industry experts 10 founders from Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya have been selected to form the 2020 group. Upon completion, the 10 founders will form part of the alumni of the program whose success stories will be an inspiration for future applicants to the Accelerator. The accelerator has also committed to building an alumni network of successful Tech By Her Accelerator participants to become ambassadors for other upcoming founders and support other female entrepreneurs in their local ecosystems.

The 2020 cohort of the Tech By Her Accelerator are:
Tech Entrepreneur, Elohor Thomas is a woman on a mission to grow a global business by connecting programmers and employers seamlessly and we’re excited to announce that she has been selected as a #TechByHer2020 fellow. With over 10 years of experience in IT, Sales and Recruitment, Elohor founded CodeLn, a platform that helps recruiters find their ideal programmer and connects programmers to their dream jobs. She is also a mentor and coach to tech enthusiasts; haven trained over 1000 people in Software Development
Meet Anne Wambui Kamau. Anne is an insurance professional, innovative thinker and Co-Founder of CoverApp, an InsurTech platform that makes insurance services accessible on-the-go. Anne was instrumental in the development of the national microinsurance policy and regulations in Kenya as a member of the microinsurance steering committee. She attributes her achievements to her passion for inclusive insurance. She has over 15 years of experience designing, prototyping and managing distribution of inclusive insurance solutions in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan Countries and is a pioneer in insurTech.
We’re excited to announce that Cynthia Aveh, founder of Trusteefarm has been selected as one of ten founders for #TechByHer2020. Trusteefarm is a farm-to-fork food traceability ecosystem built on blockchain which details all production processes involved on farms until it reaches the consumer’s fork. Cynthia is an alumnus of unlocking women and technology (UWAT) where she learnt web development and software engineering. She also volunteers for Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) as a coordinator for the Eastern Region of Ghana.
Itumeleng Moagi is a #TechByHer2020 fellow and Co-founder of Nvoicia, an invoice factoring business that facilitates the provision of working capital to small businesses. Prior to this, Moagi co-founded and assumed the role of a managing director at a  Media Monitoring agency which she successfully ran for 5 years
Meet Nasreen Mohammed, a social inclusion professional, founder of AFRIKAPU and a #TechByHer2020 fellow. Afrikapu is a social enterprise that builds and delivers entrepreneurial development tools, mentorship programs, community platforms, information resources and market linkages for marginalized skilled groups; women, youth and people with disabilities in the handicraft sector in rural Africa. As a woman who adequately fathoms the struggles other women go through in their pursuit of excellence, Nasreen’s mission is to give disadvantaged women and youth a voice through business growth and help them be ambassadors of advocacy issues affecting women, youth and their communities.
Oluwatomisin Adewumi-John is a leader at heart and the COO/ Co-founder at One Kiosk Africa, a company connecting local stores to online customers leveraging Geo-location and machine learning to achieve a 59 minutes delivery cycle! We are excited to introduce her as one of the ten #TechByHer2020 fellows. Oluwatomisin has shown great leadership and commitment in projects related to human capacity development and gender equality; an example being the Regalo Masterclass which she started in 2018, and has seen over 500 youth and women empowered with soft skills which can be turned for income streams.
Meet #TechByHer2020 fellow, Yasmin Bitugu, founder of Africa Global Radio. Africa Global Radio is an online radio station based in Ghana that produces, promotes and uncovers compelling content on the diverse narratives in Africa & the African Diaspora for the ‘Africa conscious’ mind.
Introducing the CEO of Farmula and #TechByHer2020 fellow, Vivian Opondoh. Vivian’s objective is to use agricultural data to stabilize commodity prices globally. Leveraging her educational background in Software Development, Aerospace Engineering and experience on technology adaptation in rural Kenya, she founded Farmula; a company that makes access to market seamless for farmers in rural Kenya with a focus on price and quality transparency. Through their Price Prediction Model, Farmula provides farmers with insights on when to plant to increase their profit margins through higher yields. Their Quality Assurance App also enables buyers to check the quality of produce remotely. Vivian is part of the team that won the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) International Space Apps Challenge in Nairobi in 2017 and in Accra in 2018. Her exposure and desire to support others in engineering, technology and social projects make her a great role model for young women in the sciences and technology who have a dream of impacting the world.
Nkemdirim Arukwe is a full-stack software engineer and entrepreneur with six years’ experience in systems development and networked community development. She is also the founder and CEO of PlayJoor, a social gaming network that enables users to earn money from competing in real-time classic educational games such as Whot, Chess, and Draughts. PlayJoor straddles 3 industries: mobile gaming, ESports and Edutech.
Meet #TechByHer2020 fellow, Anne Chege, CEO and Founder of MamaPrime. Anne holds a degree in Mass Communication and an Msc in Development Communication with years’ experience in Communication, Sales, Marketing and Healthcare Communication and strategy. In July last year, she participated in the DFS F3 Prize for female-led Fintech’s, and won 3rd place in the global competition. MamaPrime is a flexible, automated financial planning platform where pregnant mothers and their friends/family can make flexible piecemeal payments that go towards meeting the cost of their delivery, and, optionally, prenatal and postnatal care

 


 

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