Saturday, June 15, 2024

Safaricom and Sumitomo Corporation have opened applications for startups to join the recently established Spark Accelerator Program

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M-Pesa Africa will join the three-month initiative that provides a blend of training, mentorship, funding, and go-to-market.

The partners say that the project seeks to help early-stage startups grow and scale their businesses.

“The Spark Accelerator program is in line with our ambition to be a purpose-led technology company,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said.

“With the accelerator, we are offering more than just capital injection which is what we did previously with Spark Fund,” he added.

“We have restructured the program to address the challenges that hinder early startups from growing to scale.”

The accelerator will benefit fintech and content startups in the initial phase.

“Through this program, we will contribute to the development of the African economy, human resource development, and the realization of a more prosperous life for the people,” said Katsuya Kashiki, General Manager, Smart Communications Platform Business Division.

Startups will then receive technical support to develop mini-apps embedded into Safaricom’s M-Pesa Super App, enabling them to reach more than 4 million customers on the app.

“In turn, the startups will create innovations that connect customers and businesses on M-PESA to more opportunities while providing them with even more value,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Managing Director, M-Pesa Africa.

In addition, M-Pesa Africa will offer expertise, market research and insights, and other capacity support for startups looking to expand their reach to other countries.

iHUB, a pioneer of Kenya’s startup ecosystem and a subsidiary of Africa’s leading innovation hub, Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), will be the implementing partner of the Spark Accelerator.

“We encourage startups with dynamic and impactful solutions to join us on this exciting journey, where together with our esteemed partners, we are excited to catalyze innovation empowering digital ecosystems,” said Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director, CcHUB.

Other supporting partners for the program include Vodacom and AWS.

The call for applications will run from January 12, 2024, to February 16, 2024

Samuel Musila
Samuel Musila
Passionate Software Developer and Tech content creator From Nairobi, Kenya

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