The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

Week 14: Funding and Grant Opportunities for African Startups

As usual, we scoured the internet for the best funding and growth opportunities for African startups looking to launch, grow, and scale their operations.

This week’s opportunities include sector-agnostic VC Connect programmes, industry-specific challenges, and opportunities for female founders. There is something for everyone.

Read through to see which ones your company is eligible for, and don’t forget to share with friends and colleagues who might benefit as well.

VC Connect EMEA

Get a chance to pitch your startup to leading investors such as Plug and Play, Shorooq Partners, Seventure, Trind VC and many more, at the upcoming Freshworks for Startups VC Connect EMEA event.

The VC Connect events are organized by Freshworks for Startups,  a pay-it-forward initiative by Freshworks to provide next-generation startups with access to products, VC and investor connections, mentorship, resources, startup showcase, co-marketing, and much more. In the recent EMEA, India, APAC and US editions, they have successfully facilitated 2500+ meetings for more than 1500 startup founders, with participation from 400 Investors. 

Event date: April 20, 2023

Claim your invite for the 1:1 VC Connect here.

Sanofi Healthcare Access Challenge

Sanofi is calling for innovative startups and entrepreneurs poised with the mission of improving disease treatments delivery & access to care in Africa. Does your startup has the power to push the boundaries and build solutions beyond medicines while overcoming the bottlenecks in access to health care & treatments?​

Participate now, for a chance to build & test your solution in partnership with Sanofi and its subsidiaries.​ You will also have the opportunity to pitch your solution at the AU EU Innovation Festival in Cape Town and win the opportunity to be mentored by a Sanofi team to make your solution a reality!​​

Benefits: Access to coaching and mentoring from Sanofi executives to accelerate your solution development​, win a license to the Accelerator squared program, explore the possibility to partner with Sanofi in Africa, pitch your solution at the AU EU Innovation Festival in Cape Town.

Application deadline: April 30, 2023

Learn more about the challenge here.

EDF Green Transition Challenge

Your groundbreaking ideas can help create a more sustainable future for both Africa and Europe. EDF is calling for innovative startups and entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking ideas about electric energy. 

Does your startup have the power to transform the future of CO₂? Participate now and get a chance to join the EDF Pulse Africa program!

Benefits: Stand a chance to earn a spot in the EDF Pulse Africa program, win a license to the Accelerator squared program, pitch your solution at the AU EU Innovation Festival in Cape Town.

Application deadline: May 7, 2023

Find out more about the challenge here.

Sothema Africa MedTech Challenge

Sothema and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University are calling for innovative companies and entrepreneurs to leverage technology to develop the most innovative treatments and bring healthcare to the next level. No matter if you’re working with big data, AI, API or robotics, we want to hear about your solutions to become the next revolution for researchers, doctors and patients. 

This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your talent and make a real impact in healthcare. Join us in our mission to drive innovation and make a real difference in healthcare across Africa and Europe.

Benefits: Customized support by Sothema’s experts according to your project’s needs, access to technical resources provided by Sothema, win a license to the Accelerator squared program, pitch your solution at the AU EU Innovation Festival in Cape Town.

Application deadline: May 7, 2023

Learn more about the challenge here.

The Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration Africa 2023

The Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration Africa 2023, supported by Moody’s Corporation, is an accelerator program that will support entrepreneurs promoting ecosystem restoration by addressing deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and adverse climate change, which have emerged as some of the most pressing challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa.

The Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration program will address some of the most pressing and complex challenges facing ecosystem restoration entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal is to deliver an accelerator for entrepreneurs championing ecosystem restoration throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Benefits: Access to training and continued learning, mentorship and expert advice, 1:1 coaching on financial analysis and building a financial model, access to networking opportunities.

Application deadline: May 14, 2023

Learn more about the programme here.

VC4A Venture Showcase Africa 2023

The aim of the Venture Showcase is to put the spotlight on the best ventures coming up across the African continent and to give you the visibility you deserve amongst VC4A’s network of investors. Since its launch in 2017, the VC4A Venture Showcase Africa alumni have raised over $630M, so check our programs, apply and boost your venture’s exposure.

The Venture Showcase is sector agnostic and celebrates entrepreneurs building deeply meaningful solutions in any sector. We focus on high growth high-impact ventures that are driving economic growth throughout the continent.

Benefits: Participation in the VC4A Venture Showcase deal room, including 200+ early-stage investor organizations, Investor Readiness Training (IRT), mentorship and technical support, access to VC4A technical partners, masterclasses and special deals.

Application deadline: May 17, 2023

Learn more about this opportunity here.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs programme

The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania in partnership with SELFINA is excited to launch applications for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program, aimed at connecting women business builders in Tanzania with the tools needed to bring their bright entrepreneurial ideas to life.

AWE is a new and exciting program from the Department of State supporting the development of women entrepreneurs around the world. The program aims to reach 50 million women by 2025 and commits to providing women the knowledge, tools, and networks that they need to turn their ideas into successful business. Through facilitated online learning, women will further their business skills, network with mentors and see their ideas into reality.

Benefits: Training on creating business plans and raising capital, access to a network of successful business owners. access  to additional opportunities by leveraging alumni networks, nongovernmental organizations, and more.

Application deadline: May 21, 2023

Learn more about the programme here.

Startup Africa Roadtrip

Startup Africa Roadtrip is a 100% free support program targeting the best entrepreneurs and innovators in East Africa, offering mentorship, training, connection to investors and industrial partners and a trip to Italy for the top performers! The program is organized by the non-profit association BeEntrepreneurs, which has already organized two very successful mentorship programs in Kampala and one in Nairobi. 

The goal is to scout and select startup founders, innovators, makers and young talents who intend to develop products or services with high potential impact on relevant topics. The selected startups will take part in a free week of training and co-planning at Norrsken House Kigali in August 2023 with the chance to win a fully funded trip to Italy in the spring 2024.

Benefits: Fully funded road trip to Italy to meet potential partners, tailored mentorship and tutoring, network with mentors, potential investors, and partners.

Application deadline: May 31, 2023

Find more details here.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. The Prize awards commercialisation support to African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. These innovations show the importance of engineering in improving quality of life and economic development.

Since its launch in March 2014,  it has provided invaluable training, mentoring and communications support to 134 businesses across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It also has an established alumni programme with 71% of Africa Prize alumni currently generating revenue. Our alumni have also raised $14 million in grants and equity.

Benefits: Prize money of up to £25,000, 8-month tailored training programme, access to business and technical expertise and sector specific mentoring, access to a network of high profile engineers and business experts in the UK and Africa.

Application deadline: July 25, 2023

Learn more about the prize here.

Don’t forget to check out opportunities from previous weeks, most of them are still open. Check them out here.

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