The search is on for Sub-Saharan African startups with tech solutions aimed at impacting positively lower-income communities through those industries. Seedstars and Shell Foundation have joined forces to look for sustainable, scalable and innovative startups addressing universal access to energy-related challenges, as well as sustainable agriculture, mobility and transportation.
With support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), they are launching the Energy, Mobility and Agriculture Innovation Program to find African tech entrepreneurs in the mobility, transportation, energy, and agriculture space in order to provide them with the resources, training, and potential funding to scale their startups and impact.
According to Seedstars and Shell Foundation, the objective of this program is to support, catalyse and train the highest potential tech-based early stage (seed)African-led startups working towards:
- universal access to energy (household energy to heat, light and cook; energy for business and large communities);
- sustainable mobility and transportation (clean and safe transportation in rural areas and last-mile transportation);
- or sustainable agriculture value chains ( innovations that improve access to knowledge, finance, markets or knowledge for smallholder farmers).
Selected startups will be able to take part in Seedstars’ three-month Investment Readiness Program, which will provide the entrepreneurs with 1-on-1 mentoring with industry experts, potential funding opportunities, and leverage human and knowledge resources available within Shell Foundation.
“Start-ups have immense potential to solve Africa’s biggest development challenges and local African entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to develop these solutions. We are excited to collaborate with Seedstars to identify and support some of the most promising African-led start-ups that will scale these solutions and improve millions of lives across the continent over time” Tara Collier, Market Development Manager, Shell Foundation.
The following are the criteria for startups interested in applying for the program:
- Startup should be African-led and based or operating in at least one Sub-Saharan African country;
- Tech solution must be focused on the mobility, transportation, energy, or agriculture value chains;
- Startup must be at their early stage/seed round with a minimum viable product (MVP);
- Startup must have initial traction and already able to generate revenue;
- startup must have raised only less than $1M to date; and
- Startup should have a significant positive impact on lower-income communities (in line with SDGs 2, 7 or 11)
How to apply
To become part of the mission of providing universal access to energy, and making agriculture and mobility more inclusive and sustainable, send in your applications to the Energy and Mobility Innovation Program page before December 20, 2020.
About the SHELL Foundation
Shell Foundation is a UK-registered charity, founded by Shell in 2000, that creates and scales business solutions to enhance access to energy and affordable transport. They exist to serve the low-income communities most affected by these issues.
The foundation provides patient support to social enterprises and institutions capable of delivering social change at scale across Africa and Asia via disruptive technologies or business models without long-term reliance on charitable support or subsidy. To date Shell Foundation’s work has improved the lives of more than 180m people.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the Online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities.
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