12 African startups selected for Microsoft-backed FAST Accelerator AI program
Data and AI technology company Flapmax has announced the twelve startups selected for the second cohort of the FAST Accelerator startup program. The program is created in partnership with Microsoft to help strengthen and scale Africa's digital ecosystem.
The 12 African startups were selected following the conclusion of a two-week Online Bootcamp, which saw more than 60 tech companies participate. The bootcamp was an intensive online training with experienced mentors.
The selected twelve startups will progress to a 5-week comprehensive acceleration experience in Silicon Valley, California starting in October.
"Microsoft believes that African startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well-positioned to become a bedrock for the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal and economic challenges. Participation in the FAST Accelerator program will help these entrepreneurs capture growth opportunities and expand their market reach," said Mame-Fatou Gueye, SME Program Manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
The FAST Accelerator program says it received over 1200 applications from 35 countries in Africa, spanning a diverse range of industry sectors. Applicants represented a broad mix of cloud-based products and services serving businesses throughout Africa, harnessing AI to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and address critical challenges in their respective domains.
“At Flapmax, our mission is to build societally impactful solutions that harness the power of AI to transform multiple industries through long-term partnerships with startups, SMEs, and global enterprises,” said Dr. Dave Ojika, founder and CEO of Flapmax.
“Collaborating with technology partners like Microsoft and Intel, we are assembling a unique fusion of cutting-edge AI technologies, business development strategies, and global-scale growth opportunities for Africa and other emerging markets. Our objective is to empower startups and underrepresented entrepreneurs to rapidly and sustainably scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst."
FAST Accelerator 2023 (FA23) applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within the continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The selected startups are Zeeh Africa (FinTech), Sumundi (eCommerce), Cotrust Equity (FinTech), Trucki (Supply Chain), Orange VFX (Creative Media), 10mg Pharma (HealthTech), Wallx (FinTech) and Moosbu (FinTech).
Others are KCG Aquatec Fish Farming (AgTech), Aibanc (FinTech), Zendawa Africa (HealthTech), and Greenbii (FinTech).
Beginning October 23, the FA23 cohort will participate in a wide array of activities, including training, AI integration, business development, fundraising, and various other events. They will work closely with Intel and Microsoft on co-innovation projects, receive sales and marketing support, and gain go-to-market enablement to broaden their audience reach. Additionally, members of the Flapmax engineering team will assist startups in applying optimized Large Language AI models (LLMs), as well as in scaling and fine-tuning these models on Microsoft Azure and Intel platforms.