In the follow-up of a successful conclusion of the inaugural NINJA Accelerator Programme earlier in the month, Japanese-led NINJA Accelerator is implementing a second program cohort aimed at supporting 5 growth-oriented ventures from Kenya. It is powered by The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) alongside Japanese implementation partners Double Feather Partners (DFP), Deloitte Tohmatsu, and GrowthAfrica.
In Kenya, NINJA aims at supporting Kenya’s post-revenue ventures showing high-growth potential by providing strategic partnerships, mentorship, and access to investments for continued socio-economic development in the country.
The program is now accepting applications for the second cohort aimed at Kenyan Startups. Interested applicants can apply before September 5th, 2021. The program will also have an online information session on August 23rd.
This one-of-a-kind accelerator is designed to fast-track the growth of impactful game-changers and is uniquely tailored to guarantee value for post-revenue, high-growth businesses in Kenya to help:
Out of a pool of 178 pre-series A and above applicants, an intimate group of five ventures made it after passing through a thorough selection process to join the first cohort of the Japan-led NINJA Accelerator in Kenya.
The five Kenya-based ventures were:
Viewers from around the world logged in to watch 5 start-ups pitch their businesses during the first Demo Day of the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya which was held fully online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attendees were also able to network and visit each start-up’s virtual booth which contained institutional profiles, videos, brochures, contacts, and other investor-friendly information.
The NINJA Accelerator Program in Kenya Demo Day took place after a 12-week intensive acceleration program which was redesigned into a mostly virtual experience to minimize health risks and prioritize participants’ safety during the pandemic.
“We were extremely impressed by the quality of the applicants for this first cohort”, says Keiji Katai, Senior Director – Private Sector Development Group at JICA. “While we were only able to select five, it is exciting to see what young entrepreneurs in Kenya, and undoubtedly Africa, have to offer. We hope to demonstrate to Japanese corporates and investors that there is a serious case to be made when engaging with startups in Africa, which are the future drivers of African economies.”
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The NINJA Accelerator Program global appeal, in addition to connecting startups to Japan, will be further enhanced with the support of 500 Startups.
Scheduled for early 2022, ventures from cohorts 1 and 2 will be considered for a chance to take part in a “Global Road Show” where DFP and Deloitte will take founders on a business trip to Tokyo.
Following this, 500 Startups will host the startups in San Francisco for a 2-day “Silicon Valley Olympiad” where they can attend networking and social events to meet VCs, institutional investors, local experts, and potential business partners.
The NINJA Accelerator Program in Kenya will offer a blend of local, Japanese, and international mentoring, expertise, coaching, and investor relations, all customized to meet the needs of each venture. Those needs will be carefully defined during the first week of the program (Bootcamp), followed by intensive capacity building, in-business support, and networking events over the course of three months.
For more information about the NINJA Accelerator Program in Kenya and its upcoming activities visit their website here.
Project NINJA is a JICA initiative to support entrepreneurs and to create business innovation in emerging countries. JICA intends to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop entrepreneurship, identify issues experienced by entrepreneurs, make policy recommendations, strengthen corporate management capacity, promote collaboration among enterprises across industries, match up with Japanese companies, and promote investment.