…FuturizeU, the first-ever incubator across SSA, empowers university-led startups from idea to launch
Earlier today, Futurize and AstraZeneca (www.AstraZeneca.com) officially announced the launch of Futurize’s new pioneering HealthTech incubator program, FuturizeU. In collaboration with AstraZeneca, through the A.Catalyst Network, and co-funded by Bristol Myers Squibb, the program will run from September 12 to November 17, 2023.
FuturizeU is dedicated to nurturing early-stage university startups in Africa’s healthcare sector. Its core mission is to equip the upcoming generation of healthcare entrepreneurs with the essential tools to navigate startup complexities. The program aims to cultivate groundbreaking solutions that address critical healthcare equity and early non-communicable disease (NCD) diagnosis challenges across the African continent, harnessing the region’s abundant untapped potential.
Leveraging cutting-edge technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), FuturizeU accelerates meaningful healthcare advancements while nurturing a fertile ground for innovation. The program welcomes teams from partner universities across Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on university students, alumni, and groups from the previous two Fuel Africa cohorts, all with transformative healthcare startup concepts.
At its core, FuturizeU is a nexus of knowledge sharing, mentorship, and collaboration. Over eight weeks, the program’s curriculum delves into critical startup principles, covering product-market fit, financial strategies, and practical go-to-market approaches. Seasoned advisors and industry experts will guide aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them with networking opportunities, ensuring their ideas flourish.
Rhea Singhla, CEO at Futurize, says: “Undoubtedly, incubator programs hold paramount importance for African youth as they are not as readily accessible. These initiatives act as dynamic launchpads, igniting the latent potential of our young entrepreneurs and providing them with the essential tools, mentorship, and resources required to translate their innovative ideas into impactful solutions.”
A standout feature is the opportunity for participants to showcase their startups to a diverse network of industry partners, investors, and stakeholders at the FuturizeU Demo Day in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 17, 2023. This platform bridges funding and collaboration, fuelling growth and sustainable development while fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Jonathan Calder, Head of Digital and IT for African Cluster at AstraZeneca, stated: “Our partnership with Futurize is integral to our unwavering commitment to improve health equity and create sustainable impact in Africa. Each day at AstraZeneca, we work hand in hand with diverse stakeholders across Africa to address some of the most pressing healthcare issues our communities face. I am thrilled that through the FuturizeU HealthTech Incubator program, we will now provide young innovators in Africa an excellent launchpad opportunity to join us in our ambition to deliver pioneering solutions to improve patient outcomes.”
The program garnered an overwhelming response, attracting applications from aspiring healthcare entrepreneurs across the continent. Among them, the following ten startups with exceptional concepts have been selected:
- Vectorgram (Kenya)
- Pulsesetters (Kenya)
- Tawi (Kenya)
- Trakafya (Kenya)
- MariTest (Uganda)
- CanisaHealth (Ghana)
- TensorScan (Nigeria)
- SuperOriginals (Nigeria)
- Health4Moni (Nigeria)
- PharmaGoods (Tanzania)
Moritz Gripp, COO at Futurize commented: “By investing in young entrepreneurs through programs like FuturizeU, we are not only fostering innovation but also nurturing a generation of capable leaders who will drive positive change and contribute to the growth of Africa’s healthcare sector and beyond.”
Going forward, AstraZeneca A.Catalyst and Futurize will continue to jointly explore further partnership opportunities to support healthcare entrepreneurs in Africa and strengthen healthcare systems in the region and beyond.
Investors and potential partners are cordially invited to join the FuturizeU Demo Day on November 17, 2023.