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:

  1. 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.
  2. The Online Investment Guide Africa was launched. This unique tool informs young digital companies on potential investors and how to approach them.
  3. 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

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