i3 calls for healthtech start-ups to Gates Foundation-funded programme
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by AmerisourceBergen, Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft and Chemonics, i3 connects African-led supply chain innovators to donors, industry, and government partners, to power start-ups’ growth and impact.
The i3 is currently supporting the commercialisation of 60 promising early- and growth-stage companies.
Applications for the second cohort are open now until 26 June 26and selected start-ups will be announced on 14 September.
Selected start-ups receive targeted introductions to customers to support commercialisation and impact, a $50 000 grant, and tailored investment readiness support.
The i3 says it is particularly focused on selecting women-led companies and those operating in Francophone regions.
The programme is coordinated by Salient Advisory, Southbridge A&I and Solina Center for Research and Development.
Tech hubs – CcHUB (Co creation Hub), Startupbootcamp Afritech, Villgro Africa, and IMPACT Lab – spearhead cohort selection and investment readiness support.
Yusuf Rasool, director, Sustainable Access Solutions, Global Market Access, MSD said: “Expanding access to medicines requires a new way of thinking that taps into the incredible talent we have across the continent.
“We can find African solutions for African challenges by bringing together government, industry, and donors to create the scaffolding for entrepreneurs to succeed.
“MSD is proud to partner with i3 to find, meet and partner with the next generation of African health care companies that are finding innovative ways to solve tomorrow’s healthcare challenges today.”
For Kieran Daly, director, Global Health Agencies and Funds, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, i3 intends to jump-start ‘a new way of doing business across aid, industry, and government partners to support local innovation – starting with health care supply chains’.
Daly said: “With our partners, we’re building a network across the African continent to help structure commercialisation support for start-ups, to accelerate their growth and public health impact. We believe local, data-driven innovators closest to the delivery challenges are critical to building the resilient, agile, and responsive supply chains we need.”