They are joining other start-ups from Nigeria and South Africa for a two-week immersive programme where they will meet potential investors and collaborators to help take their businesses to the next level.
Go Global is a hugely successful innovation scheme which supports startups to improve their business skills and capability, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector and work with UK expertise to take their firms to the next level.
The aim is to create a mutually beneficial partnership with Africa which helps develop new tech to solve local and global issues and pave the way for future trade.
The UK’s Minister for Digital, Margot James said:
“It is fantastic to welcome these talented entrepreneurs to the UK. Africa is a vibrant and dynamic continent, with huge potential for growth, and the firms chosen for the first Go Global Africa programme see tech as a force for good in society.
I’ve no doubt they have the talent to play a transformative role in their country’s growth while also building connections for UK startups in new markets and highlighting Britain as the place to develop new technology.”
The six were selected in February out of eight start-ups who pitched in front of a panel of five judges.
Ronnie Osumba, the chairman of Youth Enterprise Development Fund, who was a judge at the auditions noted that:
“The six demonstrated an understanding of the market as well as their business model”
The programme is part of the ambitious new UK-Africa Innovation Partnerships announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in August 2018 during her visit. This includes setting up of UK-Kenya tech hubs which will be a pillar of a broader Digital Access Programme which aims to boost digital inclusion.
They will receive coaching from pitching experts Enterprise Academy, a public speaking masterclass, and advice on scaling up from PriceWaterHouseCoopers dedicated startup team and the Natwest Fintech Accelerator.
Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s first tech for good accelerator, will provide the startups with insights on how to launch and scale tech for good ventures and Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp will provide guidance on fundraising.
Following the programme the startups will receive ongoing support from the UK’s International Tech Hub Network, which now spans three continents and has seven hubs. They will act as Go Global champions and share the skills they have learned to mentor other firms in their countries. This will help spread digital skills, capability and entrepreneurial spirit to create jobs and prosperity.
Winners of the Go Global Africa competition from Kenya are:
The programme was started by the UK Israel Tech Hub and over the last four years it has helped develop new UK-Israel collaborations in the digital economy. According to the most recent report on its impact, the UK Israel Tech Hub has led 175 tech partnerships in deals worth £85 million.
Not only does the scheme help firms in the host country but it also plays a vital part in making links for UK startups in these new markets. And with young populations, five of the world’s fastest growing economies and a thirst for innovation, Africa is a continent alive with opportunity.
The startups, selected from more than 400 applicants, are developing cutting-edge products and services in industries including fintech, healthcare, agritech and water management.
The tech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Africa. The continent’s startups raised 50 per cent more venture capital in 2017 than in 2016, and the majority of this is being invested in Kenya (£114 million), South Africa (£130 million) and Nigeria (£89 million). Kenya and Nigeria’s technology sectors are growing rapidly and generate more than ten per cent and 11 per cent of their respective economic output.
Strengthening the UK’s partnership with African nations is a key element of the Government’s commitment to reinvesting in the UK’s relationships across the world, expanding and deepening the nation’s overseas network, working with others to face challenges and advancing common interests.