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29 African Healthcare Startups Secure Funding and Support from Gates Foundation, MSD, and More

i3 Steer committee

29 startups have been selected to receive funding and impact support from prominent organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MSD, Microsoft, and others. The second cohort of the Investing in Innovation Africa (i3) program comprises these forward-thinking companies, drawn from 10 different African countries. This initiative aims to revolutionize healthcare supply chains across the continent, fostering growth, inclusivity, and gender diversity.

NCBA twende mbele june banner

The Investing in Innovation Africa (i3) program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Cencora, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft, and Chemonics, is dedicated to supporting early- and growth-stage startups in the healthcare supply chain sector. This program is more than just a financial injection; it provides startups with introductions to potential industry customers, a $50,000 grant, and customized investment readiness support from renowned accelerators such as Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, Startupbootcamp Afritech, and CcHUB.

These 29 startups are poised to transform healthcare supply chains across 21 African countries. Their innovative solutions range from online pharmacies and telemedicine platforms to inventory management services for pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals. Additionally, supply chain data analytics, product protection, and product visibility solutions are on the horizon. What’s particularly notable is that 38% of the selected startups are led by women, reflecting a strong commitment to gender diversity, and 17% operate within Francophone Africa.

Meet the Selected Startups

Here is the list of the 29 selected startups alphabetically:

  1. Afia Group Limited
  2. Aimcare Health
  3. Bena Care
  4. BioCertica
  5. Chari Pharma
  6. CheckUps Medical
  7. Chefaa
  8. Dawa Mkononi
  9. Drugstore Nigeria
  10. Famasi Limited
  11. Field Intelligence, Inc
  12. GICMED
  13. Grinta
  14. Healthtracka
  15. Kapsule
  16. Medical Diagnostech
  17. Medpharma Alliance International Limited
  18. Octosoft Technologies Limited
  19. Pharmarun
  20. Pharmaserv Health Project Nigeria Limited
  21. Reductiona
  22. SASA Health Limited
  23. Tech Care For All Eastern Africa
  24. Technovera – Pelebox Smart Lockers
  25. Tibu Health
  26. UltraTeb
  27. Waspito
  28. WellaHealth
  29. Welo

The selected innovators will have the opportunity to participate in the i3’s annual Access to Markets event, scheduled for November 14-15 in Nairobi. This event serves as a platform for dynamic partnership dialogues between industry stakeholders, governments, donors, and large multilateral agencies. It aims to catalyze commercialization and scaling of startups through mutually beneficial contracts, pilot projects, and investments. Last year, the first cohort of 31 i3-supported companies forged an impressive 24 contracts, pilots, and strategic partnerships.

Kieran Daly, Director, Global Health Agencies and Funds at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, emphasized the program’s importance in leveraging technology-driven solutions to improve healthcare outcomes in partnership with African innovators.

Yusuf Rasool, Director, Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at MSD, highlighted the role of these startups in delivering critical healthcare solutions and empowering communities across the continent.

Jason Dinger, Senior Vice President of Global Products and Solutions at Cencora, expressed excitement about the transformative potential of the selected startups in the African entrepreneurial landscape.

The i3 program is coordinated by Salient Advisory and SCIDaR and is operationalized by leading technology hubs across Africa, including CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp AfriTech for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa, and Villgro Africa for East Africa.

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