Qualcomm Technologies has announced the shortlisted teams for the inaugural Qualcomm Make in Africa Mentorship Program, with 10 startups selected for a 7-month equity-free mentorship program. These startups are developing innovative products in clean energy, agricultural technology, computing for education, geospatial predictive analysis, medical technologies, and innovations utilizing electric vehicles. The program is designed to add to the continued growth of the continent’s technology startup ecosystem.
Several of the selected startups are based in Kenya, including Karaa, which offers e-Bike tracking, charging, retrofit, and rentals, and Maotronics Systems Limited, which provides IoT-enabled precision agriculture. Others on the list include Neural Labs Africa Ltd, which uses deep learning and computer vision for healthcare diagnosis, and SolarTaxi, which offers electric vehicle (EV) taxi and fleet management.
The shortlisted companies will receive equity-free mentorship in business planning, engineering, intellectual property protection, and the application of advanced connectivity, sensing, AI/ML, and other processing technologies for innovative end-to-end systems solutions. The program is the first of its kind in Africa and will provide 1:1 mentorship for the shortlisted companies with Qualcomm leaders on a regular cadence to guide startups to product realization, as well as provide masterclasses on product management, pitch clinic, IPR, and hardware architecture.
The program will culminate in a finale demo day in December 2023, connecting startups with various industry leaders, venture capitalists, investors, and other accelerators. The selected startups were carefully selected by a global jury based on a variety of qualifications including technical capabilities, business factors, and potential for innovation and intellectual property generation.
Here is a list of all the shortlisted companies and their technology solutions (sorted by alphabetical order):
- Fixbot – Vehicle diagnostics and inspection via OBD dongle in Nigeria
- Karaa – e-Bike Ecorich Solutions – patented organic composting in Kenya
- tracking, charging, retrofit, and rentals in Uganda
- Maotronics Systems Limited – IOT-enabled precision agriculture in Nigeria
- Microfuse – Affordable plugin computers for the education sector in Uganda
- Neural Labs Africa Ltd – Deep learning and computer vision for healthcare diagnosis in Kenya and Senegal
- OneTouch Diagnostics – Diabetes patch and monitoring system in Nigeria
- QuadLoop – Leveraging e-waste for solar e-Lanterns and battery storage in Nigeria.
- SLS Energy – Recycled lead-cell battery storage banks in Rwanda
- SolarTaxi – Electric vehicle (EV) taxi and fleet management in Ghana