- The pan-African Investing in Innovation (i3 program) is funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft and Chemonics to invest in Africa’s most promising early to growth-stage start-ups in health care supply chains.
- The second cohort comprises 29 startups chosen from 10 African countries. Notably, 38% of these startups are led by women, and 17% operate within Francophone Africa.
- Selected startups will receive a $50,000 grant and access to market opportunities to foster growth-focused partnerships with donors, industry, and institutional stakeholders.
LAGOS, Nigeria 18 September 2023 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Investing in Innovation Africa (i3), a pan-African initiative for start-ups building the future of healthcare supply chains, has announced its second cohort of 29 companies. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft, and Chemonics, i3 is dedicated to facilitating the commercialization of promising early- and growth-stage companies. Selected startups receive introductions to leading potential customers in industry, donor agencies and governments, a $50,000 grant, and tailored investment readiness support from leading accelerators Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, Startupbootcamp Afritech, and CcHUB.
The 29 start-ups chosen operate in 21 different African countries, delivering digitally-enabled healthcare supply chain solutions. Innovators are building online pharmacies and telemedicine firms, as well as inventory management services for pharmacies, clinics and hospitals, supply chain data analytics, product protection, product visibility and more. 38% of the companies selected are women-led and 17% are conducting operations in Francophone Africa. The selected companies are, in alphabetical order: Afia Group Limited, Aimcare Health, Bena Care, BioCertica, Chari Pharma, CheckUps Medical, Chefaa, Dawa Mkononi, Drugstore Nigeria, Famasi Limited, Field Intelligence, Inc, GICMED, Grinta, Healthtracka, Kapsule, Medical Diagnostech, Medpharma Alliance International Limited, Octosoft Technologies Limited, Pharmarun, Pharmaserv Health Project Nigeria Limited, Reductiona, SASA Health Limited, Tech Care For All Eastern Africa, Technovera – Pelebox Smart Lockers, Tibu Health, UltraTeb, Waspito, WellaHealth, and Welo.
Innovators selected will benefit from the i3’s annual Access to Markets event in Nairobi, which will be held between 14-15 of November. The event facilitates dynamic partnership dialogues between industry stakeholders, governments, donors, and large multilateral agencies. Connections are made to drive the commercialization and scale of the start-ups through mutually beneficial contracts, pilot projects, and investments. The first cohort of 31 companies supported by i3 last year forged 24 contracts, pilots, and strategic partnerships to date.
Kieran Daly, Director, Global Health Agencies and Funds at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, commented: “As countries and global health institutions work to expand access to priority products, we face an urgent need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems. Programs like i3 help us understand, support and engage with technology-driven solutions emerging across Africa, hand-in-hand with our partners.”
Yusuf Rasool, Director, Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at MSD, noted, “We are excited to have a second cohort of 29 innovative changemakers in African healthcare enter the program. Investing in these companies are a means of delivering lifesaving solutions and empowering communities through the access of critical medicines across the continent.”
Jason Dinger, Senior Vice President of Global Products and Solutions at Cencora
“The range of startups selected for the second cohort reflects the breadth of talent and creativity in the
African entrepreneurial landscape, and we look forward to witnessing the transformative impact of
their solutions in the years to come.”
i3 is coordinated by Salient Advisory and SCIDaR and is operationalized by leading technology hubs across the continent: CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp AfriTech for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa, and Villgro Africa for East Africa.
For more information about the program, please visit https://innovationsinafrica.com/
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Investing in Innovation Africa.
For additional information or interview requests with Salient Advisory, please contact Salient@wimbart.com
About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them a chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/
Cencora is a leading global pharmaceutical solutions organization centered on improving the lives of people and animals around the world. We partner with pharmaceutical innovators across the value chain to facilitate and optimize market access to therapies. Care providers depend on us for the secure, reliable delivery of pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, and solutions. Our 46,000+ worldwide team members contribute to positive health outcomes through the power of our purpose: We are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures. Cencora is ranked #11 on the Fortune 500 and #24 on the Global Fortune 500 with more than $200 billion in annual revenue. Learn more at www.cencora.com
About Merck Sharp & Dohme
MSD, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA in the United States and Canada, uses the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, MSD has brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. MSD aspires to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, MSD is at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. MSD fosters a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operates responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable, and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with MSD on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Founded in 1975, Chemonics is an international development consulting firm. In more than 70 countries around the globe, our network of 5,000 specialists share a simple belief: that the challenges we face today are best solved through the right partnerships — sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience to deliver results. Where Chemonics works, development works. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit us at https://chemonics.com/
Microsoft is a technology company that empowers people and organisations around the world to achieve more. The organisation creates innovative software, hardware, and cloud-based solutions that help businesses and individuals realise their full potential. With over 168,000 employees across 190 countries, the organisation is committed to building technology that serves the needs of people of all ages and abilities, regardless of their location or background. At Microsoft, it is believed that technology can be a force for good, and we are dedicated to empowering people and organisations to achieve their goals through the power of our technology.
About Salient Advisory
Launched in 2020 with a globally distributed team in Kenya, Nigeria and Canada, Salient Advisory helps changemakers enact transformative approaches to health. The company analyses and supports partnerships to use technology and innovations, adapt policy and financing, and elevate unheard voices to change global conversations and transform access to care. https://www.salientadvisory.com/
SCIDaR is an indigenous, Nigeria-based health systems consulting and implementation non-profit organisation that works with governments, development organisations, and the private sector to optimise population health outcomes. It applies proven business and market-shaping techniques and utilises its relationships and understanding of Africa’s public and private sector health system actors to ensure sustainable impact. https://scidar.org/
CcHUB is a leading innovation center in Africa that provides a range of services to support and promote the growth of technology startups. Headquartered in Nigeria, CcHUB offers incubation, acceleration, and investment opportunities to startups in various sectors, including fintech, healthcare, education, and energy.
About IMPACT Lab Africa
ImpactLab Africa is a social innovation lab based in Morocco, that works to create and scale sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges facing Africa. The lab provides a range of services, including innovation workshops, accelerator programs, and impact investment opportunities, to support and promote the growth of social enterprises in the region.
About Villgro Africa:
Villgro Africa is a social enterprise incubator based in Nairobi, Kenya, that provides funding, mentorship, and other support services to early-stage startups that are working to address social and environmental challenges in Africa. The organization focuses on sectors such as health, agriculture, and energy, and has a track record of supporting successful social enterprises across the continent.
About Startupbootcamp AfriTech
Startupbootcamp AfriTech is an accelerator program that focuses on supporting early-stage startups in Africa that are working on innovative solutions in various sectors, including fintech, healthtech, agritech, and smart cities. Based in South Africa, the program provides funding, mentorship, and other support services to help startups develop their ideas and bring them to market.