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Harvard and AWS Pick 11 African Student-Led Startups for NextGen Accelerator Program

NextGen Accelerator program

Harvard Innovation Labs and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have picked 25 startups for the first-ever NextGen Accelerator program, 11 of which are from Africa.

The NextGen Accelerator focuses on supporting student founders in the early stages of their ventures, encompassing both Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What’s more, this two-week program features daily sessions that delve into various subjects, including customer discovery, market validation, pitching, fundraising, and leadership skills. 

The Schultz Family Foundation will sponsor housing, food, and flight costs for the ventures taking part in the program .

Also Read: 25 African Beneficiaries of Google for Startups Fund Announced

AWS is offering participants AWS credits worth US$5,000 along with the opportunity to tap into their pool of experts, with the goal of enhancing the presence of blacks and other underrepresented founders in the startup community,

NextGen Accelerator program participants

The 2023 NextGen Accelerator program has a varied group of student-led startups, including four representing Ghana. 

These include FeatheryCare from the University of Ghana, which specialises in agri-tech, Sabon Sake from Ashesi University, a manufacturer of organic soil boosters, mobile wallet service Hurupay also from Ashesi University, and LbH LC from the University of Ghana, providing farmer financing solutions.

In addition, participants from Kenya include three startups: AfyaBridge (University of Nairobi) in the e-health sector, Parksby (University of Nairobi) providing a parking platform, and Tawi Digital Health (University of Nairobi) in health-tech services.

Also Read: Seedstars, Fondation Botnar Announce $20M Fund Targeting African Startups 

The list further has Rwandan logistics platform HiQ Africa (African Leadership University), South African fintech firm Puno (University of the Witwatersrand), Tanzanian AR startup Smart Darasa (University of Dar es Salaam), and Nigerian payments platform Acceede (Federal University of Technology).

Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans executive director of the Harvard Innovation Labs stated that they were excited to welcome student founders from colleges and universities across Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and the US to Boston.

“These students are working on a wide range of inspirational products and services, and we look forward to seeing all they accomplish both during the NextGen Accelerator and beyond.” Sengeri added.