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12 African Startups Selected for the US$1M MIT Innovation Challenge

MIT Inclusive Challenge - Founder360

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12 African Startups Selected for the US$1M MIT Innovation Challenge

Twelve startups have been chosen to represent Africa at the Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC), a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sponsored initiative. 

The twelve startups are part of the 60 exemplary inclusive innovation organizations representing the best future of work solutions on the planet.

They will pitch their solutions live to a panel of regional innovation experts where four startups will be chosen to represent African at the Global Grand Prize Gala at MIT on November 21 where US$250,000 will be awarded to each of four Grand Prize Winners.

The IIC is a global tournament, awarding US$1.6 million annually to organizations that are using technology to revolutionize the future of work and create a more equitable economy. 

The IIC accelerates innovation-driven entrepreneurship for a more inclusive and prosperous economy. Since 2016, US$178.9 million in cumulative revenue has been generated, US$1.05 billion in cumulative capital has been raised, and over 6,800 jobs created by the IIC’s 100 winning organizations. 

Read: In Brief: Nigeria-based Currency Marketplace Startup VertoFX Raises US$2.1M Led by Accelerated Digital Ventures

“Inclusive innovators aren’t just changing the game – they’re changing the world,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, co-founder of the IIC. “IIC winning organizations exemplify scalable, working solutions that broaden opportunity and harness technology to include more people in the digital economy. The IIC’s goal is to accelerate the best future of work solutions on the planet.”

Here are the twelve finalists from Africa:

Bloom Impact is a digital marketplace providing financial education and access to financial services to small business owners in Africa.

Social Lender bridges the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal credit by harnessing a proprietary algorithm using social reputation on mobile, online, and social media platforms.

Inclusivity Solutions develops digital insurance solutions for emerging markets with the aim of protecting and enhancing the quality of life of vulnerable people.

Kumwe is disrupting the East African maize value chain with a technology-backed model for post-harvest processing and aggregation to increase incomes for 40,000 farmers.

The Indlu app empowers African landowners to manage their back yard rental rooms and build credit scores, providing a pathway to capital access.

Tiny Totos transforms service standards across Nairobi’s informal childcare market through innovative technology to benefit underserved preschool children and working mothers in slums.

Forasna.com is a platform that connects middle- and basic-educated workforce and blue-collar workers with matching job opportunities in Egypt.

Taskty is Egypt’s largest online marketplace for home services, connected workers with work and increasing economic opportunity.

Shortlist empowers job seekers in Africa and India to apply for jobs online by demonstrating their skills and abilities in real-time, regardless of their background.

Flare is helping EMTs do the important work of saving lives every day by building 911 for 60% of the world without an existing system.

Farmerline increases productivity and creates lasting profit for African farmers with technology and field agents that connect farmers to vital information and services.

Shopit digitizes informal grocery stores in low-income communities and links them to the formal economy to create local business opportunities and positive social impact.

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