Summary of business
African smallholder farmers are subject to global price fluctuation and middlemen. Awareness and reach of African produce are nascent. Our B2B e-commerce channel secures demand by connecting buyers and shifting profitability to producers.
The JICA Task Force in partnership with Uganda’s three (3) SU hubs run a custom-made 3 months accelerator program complete with a pitch event/demo day which was open to investors in both Uganda, Japan and elsewhere in the world.
To prove that the Startup hubs have been successful in the Accelerator Project (AP), the project considered a number of the supported growth stage startups that raise the capital they require for growth.
The Startup Hub and Start-ups Assessment Survey in Uganda
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) acknowledged that the Ugandan ICT industry is emerging and recognized the economic importance of start-up companies. At the same time, JICA considered there were still various challenges in enhancing Uganda’s ecosystem and strengthening support for start-up companies and businesses that are aiming for growth, particularly the ICT sector.
In February 2021, JICA launched the project survey on start-up ecosystem strengthening in the Republic of Uganda to identify some key hypotheses about Uganda’s start-up ecosystem, and how JICA could support its growth. The project was conducted by a JICA Task Force consisting of the following private sector players: KPMG AZSA LLC, Rakuten Europe, Asia Africa Investment & Consulting Pte. Ltd, and E-gates.
After interviewing over 10 start-up hubs and over 20 start-ups in Uganda, the JICA Task Force (JICA TF) found key challenges facing the growth of the Ugandan start-up ecosystem. Based on the findings, the JICA TF sought partnership with Ugandan start-up hubs to run a three-month pilot Accelerator Program (AP) to prove the hypotheses drawn from the findings and propose ways to address these key challenges for JICA’s future long-term support of Uganda’s start-up ecosystem
The Next Innovation with JAPAN (NINJA) Accelerator Project5>
The JICA Task Force in partnership with Uganda’s three (3) SU hubs run a custom-made 3 months accelerator program complete with a pitch event/demo day which was open to investors in both Uganda, Japan and elsewhere in the world. To prove that the Startup hubs have been successful in the Accelerator Project (AP), the project considered a number of the supported growth stage startups that raise the capital they require for growth.
The 3 SU hubs Hive Colab, Outbox and Innovation Village were the implementing partners of this project in collaboration with the JICA Task Force team. These SU Hubs collaborated on at most every activity of the project implementation, but with each taking a lead on different activities during the project life cycle.
The Innovation Village (TIV) took lead on Promotions and designing all promotional materials and publicity; The Outbox Hub mainly led on project events and all related logistics; and Hive Colab was the project lead SU Hub, responsible for the overall success of the program and designing the Accelerator Program curriculum.
Identification and Selection of the startups in the program leading to the pitch day was be done in mainly three phases. The project targeted to attract at least 200 startups in the project from the ecosystem.
Phase 1 was the preliminary assessment stage, aimed at selecting at least 50 startups;
Phase 2 was the deep dive assessment that scored startups from phase 1 on key industrial indicators, the aim at this stage was to get 15 startup competitors to qualify for the next phase.
Phase 3 targeted best 5 from 15 in phase 2 who were admitted into a 3-month Accelerator program, and also showcase their businesses and innovation to the world on a demo/pitch day for venture capital funding.
JICA premised this project to also enhance future collaborations between the stakeholders and bring more opportunities to further contribute to Uganda’s startup ecosystem growth.
The Uganda, NINJA Accelerator Program (AP), thus, selected five startup businesses, which were selected from a rigorous application and evaluations process, in the period July – September, 2021. The project kicked off in October with due diligence on selected startups, a bootcamp and mentorship phase closing in December 2021.