In a remarkable collaboration and co-funded by GIZ Make-IT in Africa, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through an Integrated Development Partnership with the Private Sector (iDPP), Co-Creation Hub is thrilled to announce the resounding success of the Uni:nnovators’ Startups-in-Residence programme in three countries Nigeria, Namibia, and Kenya.
This initiative was designed to inspire innovation within selected tertiary institutions across these countries, including the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos in Nigeria, the University of Nairobi and Riara University in Kenya, and the University of Namibia and Namibia University of Science and Technology in Namibia. Each country produced six exceptional student teams that will advance to the next stage of the programme.
In August 2023, a total of 256 entries vied for a place in this groundbreaking programme Carefully, 30 startup teams were chosen to embark on an intensive six-week design sprint. During this period, they honed their pitches and innovations, preparing for the grand Demo Day.
Nigeria: The Uni:nnovators’ Demo and Showcase event that took place on the 11th of October 2023 in Lagos, Nigeria displayed the immense talent and creativity of students from the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos. The innovative solutions showcased promise to have a transformative impact as student-led startups presented innovative solutions, such as ‘Medherence’, the team behind an Artificial intelligence-enabled healthcare solution to improve medication adherence. This and other innovations showcased promise to solve medical challenges facing millions of Nigerians today. The event was lauded as an important step in collaboration “Higher Education Institutions need to leverage on structures put in place by innovation centres such as CcHUB and not compete with them.” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University of Lagos), Prof Ayodele Atsenuwa
Namibia: The Demo and showcase day in Namibia, held on the 19th of October 2023 at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, highlighted the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit in the country. The startups displayed innovative ideas poised to make a meaningful contribution to Namibia’s economic growth, such as ‘Mepya Agro’ – The team aiming to digitally connect farmers across Namibia directly to their customers. The event boasted an impressive lineup of judges, including Sean Makoena from Impact Tank Namibia, Dino Balloti from NIPDB, and Jesaya Hano-Oshike, Basecamp Business Incubator’s Founder, showcasing strong support from key industry players, affirming the programme value.
Kenya: In Kenya, on the 26th of October 2023, the Uni:nnovators’ programme displayed the potential of young Kenyan entrepreneurs. One such example being ‘CARE CONNECT AFRICA’ – A team creating a platform that aims to empower pregnant women by providing information and education resources, location-based healthcare service connection, telemedicine consultations, appointment scheduling and social platform for community support and shared experiences. Theirs and the other forward-thinking solutions showcased at the event have the potential to shape the future of business, technology, and education in the country. In attendance was Prof. Stephen Kiama, Vice Chancellor (University of Nairobi), who assured iHUB that “the University is ready to collaborate with them to harness the abundant talent in the university to solve Africa’s problems”
The Final Leg
These unique and diverse demo days strengthened partnerships and showcased the importance of collaboration of higher education institutes, industry partners, and governments is vital for nurturing a thriving entrepreneurial culture in Africa. This synergy promotes economic growth, innovation, and job creation while positioning the continent as a competitive player in the global economy. The development of mutually beneficial relationships among these stakeholders is key to unlocking Africa’s entrepreneurial potential.
The selected startup teams will advance to the next stage of the programme and will receive funding to further develop their innovations, as well as be a part of a knowledge transfer with research institutions and HEIs in Germany, in order to leverage knowledge transfer from Europe and support research-led innovations from academic institutions.
At Co-Creation Hub, we are committed to nurturing the growth of African innovators and driving progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We firmly believe Higher Education Institutions play a vital role in promoting SDG11, which is centred around the aim of sustainable cities and communities. This is primarily achieved when students actively incorporate their innovative ideas and actively work towards resolving pressing challenges within their respective communities. We are eager to see these innovators go on a successful path in their respective countries and beyond.
List of advancing teams
– TY Dami Energy
– Slim Re Biopsy
– Medilink Namibia
– Mepya Agro
– Fit for Consumption
– Persuasive mHealth
– AI Seeds
– Quality One Investments
– Dev Health
– Care Connect Africa
– Grey water blue