Flapmax, the data and AI tech firm, has revealed the twelve companies selected for the second cohort of its Microsoft-backed ‘FAST Accelerator’.
Created in partnership with Microsoft to help strengthen and scale the digital ecosystem in Africa, the FAST Accelerator recently concluded a two-week-long online boot camp.
After the boot camp saw over 60 tech companies participate in intensive online training with experienced mentors, the cohort of 12 startups will progress to a five-week comprehensive acceleration experience in Silicon Valley, California starting in October.
The FAST Accelerator 2023 cohort features the following startups from Africa:
- Zeeh Africa, an AI-powered open banking platform connecting businesses to financial data
- Sumundi, an intelligent e-commerce platform for Africa’s retail businesses
- Cotrust Equity, a micro-lending solution for Africa
- Trucki, an AI-powered haulage infrastructure connecting cargo stakeholders
- Orange VFX, an animation and visual effects provider
- 10mg Pharma, providing AI-driven cost savings on medications for chronic pain patients
- Wallx, payment and business solution for small business owners
- Moosbu, empowering SMEs with AI for sales and financing
- KCG Aquatec Fish Farming, aquaculture infrastructure supporting sustainable growth for fish farmers
- Aibanc, AI-powered banking for high earners
- Zendawa Africa, enabling neighbourhood pharmacies to sell online
- Greenbii, a provider of AI-driven asset financing and software management platform for SMEs
Mame-Fatou Gueye, SME programme manager at the Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, said: “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 also help these entrepreneurs capture growth opportunities and expand their market reach.”
Empower startups and underrepresented entrepreneurs
In total, the FAST Accelerator programme received over 1200 applications from 35 countries in Africa, spanning a diverse range of industry sectors:
- Financial Services (128 applications)
- Healthcare (95 applications)
- Agriculture (235 applications)
- Transportation and Logistics (60 applications)
- Clean Technology and Energy (57 applications)
- Creative Media and Entertainment (40 applications)
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.
Dr Dave Ojika, founder and CEO of Flapmax, also commented: “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.
“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.”
Beginning October 23, the cohort will participate in a wide array of activities, including training, AI integration, business development, fundraising, as well as various other events. They will also 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 optimised Large Language AI models (LLMs), as well as in scaling and fine-tuning these models on Microsoft Azure and Intel platforms.