By Tom Jackson
Innovate Ventures has announced the 12 early-stage Somali startups that have been accepted onto the inaugural Innovate Accelerator in Hargeisa, Somaliland, with the top three to receive a total of US$10,000 in equity investment.
The 10-week programme aims to support and invest in the next wave of tech startups in Somaliland and Somalia while growing the nascent startup ecosystem in the country. It will include mentorship and training provided by domain experts and entrepreneurs.
After over 160 applications were received from Somali tech startups, Innovate Ventures has chosen 12 to take part in the programme based on the quality of application, existing traction, quality of team, and viability of product.
The selected startups include digital services company Mojatu Media, online rental and property management startup Guri Yagleel, online wedding and event planning startup Xasuus Reeb, web hosting company SomSite, Raspberry Pi hardware firm Somaliland Raspberry, and software development startup Anfac Software.
B2B startup iTech Solutions, online payments company Zapi, fintech startup ePocket, e-commerce company Muraado, accounting software provider SomDevelopers, and media management software Hargeisa Daily complete the cohort.
The startups will now undergo a rigorous 10-week programme, which will culminate in a demo day in November in Hargeisa where they will pitch to potential investors. Three startups will walk away with funding from the Innovate Ventures Fund.