Pan-African initiative, Investing in Innovation (i3), seeks to support the commercialization and impact of 60 promising early and growth-stage companies with grants, as well as access to markets.
In partnership with Salient Advisory, SCIDaR, SouthBridge A&I as the coordinating team and CCHub, Startupbootcamp, IMPACT Lab, and Villgro Africa as the implementing partners, the program is designed to scale up African health tech businesses that bring high-quality health products, including medicines, consumables, medical devices, assistive technologies, among others, bringing them closer to where patients are, at affordable prices.
Inspired by the progress and promise of African innovators in supply chain, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), WHO AFRO, AUDA-NEPAD, and AmerisourceBergen, are launching i3.
The consortium of donors, industry actors and African institutions will provide 60 promising early and growth-stage start-ups with risk-tolerant funding and access to market support to power innovators’ health impact and scale.
Pillars of the program
Access to Markets: i3’s flagship event that connects innovators to leading local and international industry players, financial institutions, donors, and governments to establish partnerships and pilot projects that fuel impact and scale.
Risk-Tolerant Finance: i3 provides systematic grants of $50,000 to all participating startups. This flexible funding is provided to address key business model needs and advance the startups’ charitable impacts.
Investment readiness support: i3 provides participating startups with tailored investment readiness support, delivered by leading innovation experts at CCHUB, Startupbootcamp Afritech, IMPACT Lab and Villgro Africa.
i3 powers companies that bring affordable, high-quality health products closer to where patients are. we’re looking for companies solving supply chain challenges with data-driven solutions that include:
- Health Product Availability
- Accessibility of Health Products
- Health Product Quality
- Health Product Affordability
- Visibility of Health Product Movement
- Waste Management in Health Supply Chains
To be eligible to apply, startups meet the following criteria:
1. Representative of the business must be a founder/co-founder, and at least 18 years old with a valid ID document.
2. Company must be owned, led or operated by an African(s). This is defined as having an African national with long-term control and management of the business, an equity stake and an active role in both strategic and day-to-day decision-making. Organization does not need to be headquartered in Africa.
3. Business must have a legal presence on the African continent.
4. Business offerings must be focused on serving the needs of African customers.
5. Business must be in the early or growth stage as defined below. Nascent/idea-stage companies or mature companies (e.g. mature incumbent distribution businesses) are not eligible.
- Early-stage – You must have clearly defined your market, validated customer demand, developed a working prototype and product map and begun to generate revenue, with a strong plan to scale and sustain growth.
- Growth Stage – You must have a strong, well-defined revenue model, sales, and operational capabilities. Your Products and service must be primed to scale, and customer acquisition costs must be declining. You must have evidence of customer acceptance of your products (reflected in sales volumes, beyond early adopters).
6. Business must be technology-enabled and offer data-driven products or services focused on health product distribution. Non-health businesses with documented plans to offer data-driven products or services focused on health product distribution in the short-term (2-3 months) will also be considered.
7. Businesses must be able to demonstrate that grant funding will generate direct improvements in one or more of the following areas: availability, accessibility, quality, affordability and visibility of critical health products.
8. Nonprofits, consultancies, intermediaries, and consortiums are not eligible.
9. You must show good management and governance.
The program has a special focus on supporting founders who are traditionally excluded, including women-led companies, and companies operating in Francophone Africa.
How to apply
Be among the 60 companies to participate in the i3 program for African entrepreneurs creating solutions to the health product distribution challenge on the continent. Apply before the deadline on Sunday, August 14, 2022.