On July 11th 2019, various Make-IT Alliance member organizations gathered for the 10th Make-IT Alliance network meeting. At the gathering hosted by IBM in Berlin, around 30 partners discussed the way forward and a new cooperation model aligned with IBM’s motto “Let’s put smart to work”. Together with GIZ and SAP, host IBM sought the opportunity to showcase “Digital4Agriculture” (D4A), a project which emerged out of the Make-IT initiative.
Highlight of the Make-IT Alliance meeting was the interactive workshop session focusing on a new ecosystem pipeline. Building such a pipeline allows for more peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and better tech start-up validation. The Make-IT Alliance members contributed their thoughts and explored further synergies and possibilities of engagement.
Additionally, Make-IT in Africa made a few announcements:
- They want to jointly enhance the existing “Partners in Acceleration” (PiA) approach. In Q3 of this year, the launch of a PiA guide and call for proposals is planned. As part of this, hubs can apply for grants from Make-IT to apply their innovative acceleration approach.
- The Online Investment Guide Africa was launched. This unique tool informs young digital companies on potential investors and how to approach them.
- The new Make-IT in Africa Start-up Accelerator by Merck was introduced. The most promising start-ups with a focus on eHealth will be invited to Germany and given the chance to become a business partner of Merck. Find more information about the programme here.
Finally, Dr Harald von Korflesch, Professor at the University Koblenz-Landau, gave an inspiring talk about the EXIST Startup Germany-Africa – “StArfrica” initiative. The approach foresees German start-ups to accompany the project in Rwanda. At the same time, African (Rwandan) start-ups get the opportunity to visit Germany and discover the European market. In addition, EXIST offers the possibility to award a founder scholarship to an African (Rwandan) team.
Picture credit: Julia Jatzkewitz/GIZ