Deadline: August 4, 2023
Co-Creation Hub in partnership with GIZ Make-IT in Africa rolls out the Uni:nnovators Startups-in-Residence Program 2023. The Co-Creation Hub through the program will support 30 student-led innovations in Nigeria, Namibia, and Kenya in an effort to strengthen and accelerate the participation of academic institutions in the emerging innovation ecosystem across Africa.
The selected startup teams will benefit from capacity-building sessions to improve on their research-based innovations and build prototypes focused on Greentech and smart city solutions in specific sectors – Agriculture, Energy, Circular Economy, Water, and Healthcare. Eighteen of these student-led teams who emerge after the pitch demonstration will participate in a knowledge exchange with leading researchers in their fields and get the opportunity to travel to Germany for physical sessions to help to strengthen their prototypes. They will then receive funding and advisory services towards building and deploying their MVPs in the marketplace and in partnership with the industry where applicable.
The program will culminate in a two-day summit in Nairobi, Kenya where startups will pitch to an international audience of investors and stakeholders as we try to showcase the critical role that Higher Education Institutions play in the broader innovation ecosystem on the continent. Co-Creation Hub will work with six Higher Education institutions in the three chosen countries. The institutions are the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Lagos (Nigeria), University of Namibia (Namibia), Namibia University of Science and Technology (Namibia), Riara University (Kenya), and the University of Nairobi (Kenya).
- Design Sprint (6 Weeks): Participants will attend three workshops in the space of 6 weeks, spaced every two weeks. These workshops will focus on ideation, design thinking, and human-centered approaches to designing solutions and prototype development.
- Demo Day: Each team will have the opportunity to present their solutions and prototypes to a panel of industry experts including investors, industry stakeholders, and the university community. Of all 30 startup teams, only 18 teams will proceed to the next phase of the program.
- Knowledge Exchange & Trip to Germany: In partnership with Make-IT in Africa, CcHUB will identify leading research institutions and HEIs in Germany in line with the fields of focus of the startup teams and are interested in providing research mentorship for the students and teams.
- Industry Deployment Sprint (8 Weeks): The 18 selected startups will have the opportunity to work and reside in innovation hubs located within their campuses for a two-month period where organisers will work directly with them to deploy these solutions to the marketplace for real customers.
- Grand Demo Day + Summit in Nairobi: Finally, there will be a grand demo day to be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya where all the 18 startups from all three countries will pitch a demonstration of their product or solution, the traction they have gained in the marketplace and projections for their startups.
- You must be a student of one of the aforementioned universities.
- You must indicate whether you are studying for a Bachelor’s, Masters or a Doctorate.
- You must be able to travel within your country and abroad, thus having a valid passport by the date of travel.
- Your idea must be innovative and unique, preferably research-based.
- Your idea must be realistic and logical i.e. solving a specific problem for a niche of customers with a sizeable market size.
- Your idea must fall within the scope of the challenge as stated in the program overview.
- Ability or skill set to build out the proposed solution.
For more information, visit Uni:nnovators Startup-in-Residence.