In a transformative step for the African tech ecosystem, Safaricom, M-PESA Africa, and Sumitomo Corporation have unveiled the Spark Accelerator program. This three-month intensive, commencing in 2024, aims to propel early-stage startups towards sustainable growth and market impact.
Beyond Capital Injection: A Nurturing Ecosystem: Spark Accelerator transcends mere financial support. Selected startups will gain access to a comprehensive spectrum of resources, including:
- Expert Mentorship: Seasoned professionals will guide and advise ventures, sharing valuable market insights and industry best practices.
- Comprehensive Training: Tailored workshops and programs will equip founders with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of scaling their businesses.
- Go-to-Market Support: Dedicated specialists will assist startups in crafting effective market strategies and securing customer acquisition channels.
- Technical Expertise: Access to technical resources and infrastructure will empower ventures to develop and refine their technology solutions.
Fintech and Content in Focus: The initial stage of the program will prioritize Fintech and Content startups, recognizing their potential to drive innovation and unlock economic opportunities across Africa. A team of specialists, adept in market dynamics and emerging technologies, will meticulously select the most promising ventures for participation.
M-PESA Super App: A Launchpad for Growth: One of the program’s unique advantages is direct access to the M-PESA Super App ecosystem. Participating startups will have the opportunity to develop and embed mini-apps within the platform, reaching over 4 million active users. “M-PESA’s unparalleled reach provides a unique opportunity for startups to scale rapidly and achieve significant impact,” remarked Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Managing Director, M-PESA Africa.
Sustained Support Beyond the Program: The commitment to nurturing ventures extends beyond the three-month duration. M-PESA Africa’s extensive network, market research capabilities, and capacity building resources will remain accessible to program alumni, enabling them to tap into the full potential of M-PESA’s expansive reach across eight countries.
Investor Demo Day: A Gateway to Capital: Culminating the program is an investor demo day, where startups will have the opportunity to showcase their innovations and secure funding from Safaricom and partner venture capital firms. This platform serves as a springboard for further growth and potential partnerships.
iHUB at the Helm: Spearheading the program’s implementation is iHUB, a leading force in Kenya’s startup ecosystem and a subsidiary of CcHUB, Africa’s premier innovation hub. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Safaricom, M-PESA Africa, and Sumitomo Corporation in this groundbreaking initiative,” declared Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director, CcHUB. “Together, we aim to empower promising founders and catalyze innovation within the African tech landscape.”
Call to Action: Applications for the Spark Accelerator program are open from January 12, 2024, to February 16, 2024. Tech startups across Africa are encouraged to visit https://www.safaricom.co.ke/sparkaccelerator to apply and become part of this transformative journey.