Flapmax, a leading data, and AI company in partnership with Microsoft has selected 12 African startups for the second cohort of its FAST Accelerator startup program.
Nine out of the twelve startups in the FA23 cohort are Nigerian and one each from Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
This selection was after the conclusion of a 2 weeks Online Bootcamp, which saw over 60 tech companies participate in an intensive online training with experienced mentors.
FAST is an initiative that combines business development, technology integration, funding and community building opportunities to enable African startups to scale more rapidly and sustainably.
The SME Program Manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, Mame-Fatou Gueye acknowledged that “Microsoft believes that African startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well-positioned to become a bedrock for the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal and economic challenges. Participation in the FAST Accelerator program will help these entrepreneurs capture growth opportunities and expand their market reach.”
Gueye added that “Our objective is to empower startups to scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst,”
According to Dave Ojika, founder and CEO of Flapmax, their collaboration with technology partners like Microsoft and Intel, helps them assemble a unique fusion of cutting-edge AI technologies, business development strategies, and global-scale growth opportunities for Africa and other emerging markets. Their objective is to empower startups and underrepresented entrepreneurs to rapidly and sustainably scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst.
The FAST Accelerator program received over 1200 applications from 35 countries in Africa, from a range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, agriculture, transportation & logistics, clean technology & energy, and even creative media & entertainment. Applicants represented a mix of cloud-based products and services serving businesses throughout Africa, utilising AI to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and address critical challenges in their respective domains.
FAST Accelerator 2023 (FA23) applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within the continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The FA23 second cohort startups are:
•Aibanc (FinTech): AI-powered Banking for High Earners Not Rich Yet (HENRY).
•Cotrust Equity (FinTech): The Uber for micro-lending in Africa.
•Greenbii (FinTech): AI-driven asset financing and software management platform for SMEs.
•KCG Aquatec Fish Farming (AgTech): Aquaculture infrastructure helping fish farmers grow their businesses sustainably.
•Moosbu (FinTech): Empowering SMEs with AI for sales and financing.
•Orange VFX (Creative Media): Delivering high-quality animation and visual effects that help African businesses.
•10mg Pharma (HealthTech): AI-driven cost savings on medications for chronic pain patients.
•Sumundi (eCommerce): Intelligent eCommerce platform for Africa’s retail businesses.
•Trucki (Supply Chain): AI-powered haulage infrastructure connecting cargo stakeholders.
•Wallx (FinTech): Payment and business solution for small business owners.
•Zeeh Africa (FinTech): AI-powered open banking platform connecting businesses to financial data.
•Zendawa Africa (HealthTech): Enabling neighbourhood pharmacies to sell online.
FAST Accelerator’s cohort of 12 startups will progress to a 5-week comprehensive acceleration experience in Silicon Valley, California starting in October. A period during which members of the Flapmax engineering team will assist startups in applying optimised Large Language AI models (LLMs), as well as in scaling and fine-tuning these models on Microsoft Azure and Intel platforms.
Flapmax has also announced the launch of its digital matching platform, FAST Portal, designed to connect investors with startups.
FAST Portal will be leveraged to facilitate introductions between investors, partners, and startups within the FAST Accelerator community.