Co-Creation Hub’s edtech Accelerator commits $15M to African startups • TechCrunch

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Africa’s largest innovation hub, the Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), is launching a $15 million accelerator program to support and support 72 startups in Nigeria and Kenya over the next three years, TechCrunch has learnt.

According to the company’s statement, The accelerator program will support and strengthen the impact of edtech startups across Africa, and founders will provide technology solutions to address innovation in the challenging education sector.

The sub-Saharan region has about 98 million children and youth out of school, and the majority of children and youth are out of school. Report. Even for those in school, the quality of education from K-12 to high school is fatal. For example, students in computer science courses in most Nigerian universities learn outdated programming languages ​​without current real-world applications. Other problems are inadequate financial support, school strikes and brain drain.

Mobile and internet penetration and smartphone access have increased over the years; according to According to a GSMA Intelligence report, mobile phone subscribers account for 46 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population, with smartphone adoption expected to reach 64 percent by 2021.Everal edtech startups have seen ways to develop digital platforms that have helped thousands of Africans gain better learning and career opportunities. For example, Tencent-backed uLesson, YC-supported Kidato, and LocalGlobe-supported Fundamate provide learning programs for K-12 students through various methods, such as Andela and GOMYCODE, and other skilled technology professionals and students from domestic and foreign employers.

While these platforms have been somewhat successful, they have not moved the needle in Africa’s billion-dollar edtech market. For that to happen, more edtech solutions need to be built and supported. However, in eDtech is Africa’s eighth most invested sector and according to this report, startups have their work cut out for them. Bosun Tijani, founder and CEO of CCHUB, has two theories as to why edtech growth has slowed in Africa and why startups are finding it challenging to attract investment dollars. One, the edtech space is much more regulated than the casual tech watcher might think. Another is that start-ups have little contact with government or educational institutions and vice versa. As such, Tijani envisions the launch of Accelerator’s inclusive ecosystem with the potential for more success stories and a more mature edtech industry.

We believe that if we invest deliberately, governments, educators, investors, foundations, and even in some cases the students and their parents, will begin to gain a better understanding of how to use technology. Improve learning in schools,” Tijani said in an interview with TechCrunch. “As we build a program that not only finds the smartest people in the startup ecosystem, but also connects the startup ecosystem with government officials, government bodies, schools and academic institutions, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how to balance education solutions in the space.”

The fellowship program targets startups in Nigeria and Kenya, two of the continent’s biggest edtech markets. With more than 300 startups in both markets, learning apps and platforms that emphasize curriculum are among the many. However, Tijani says that the Accelerator Program will try to fund solutions that play outside the box. According to the CEO, Africa’s $2 billion education market, now more than ever, requires more unconventional solutions. And CCHUB, which has supported several edtech initiatives (one of which I volunteered for) and successful and failed edtech startups in the past through other incubator and accelerator programs, hopes to achieve these. Solutions that address challenges in the K-12, tertiary and skills-to-labor markets.

Our thinking is very broad. “We know the core will probably narrow down to a few areas as we see it, but we’re challenging ourselves not to fund the most obvious solutions.” “We’re not just supporting any startup. We look to see if these startups are driving learning outcomes.

CCHUB intends to do just that with the help of an in-house research team dedicated to working with portfolio startups and testing their products from inception to scale. They are part of a 30-person team of experts in various areas that CcHub offers to select startups in both areas, including Product development, government relations, education and learning science, portfolio management, communication, instructional design and community building. By providing common facilities, these groups will be How every startup conducts team building, MVP and prototype testing, go-to-market strategies, engagement with organizations, and feedback from users is crucial. These add value Meet the first $100,000 in funding startups receive during the program.

In the next three years, we will have 72 edtech companies enter the market. We believe that this will start the ecosystem and reboot it because you are sure that at least half or 20-30% of the population will survive for another three to four years. This will allow us to know if technology really works for education in Africa,” Tijani said.

The CcHUB EdTech Fellowship Program welcomes 24 startups each year in Nigeria and Kenya (12 each), with multiple startups in three years. Also, these startups receive $100,000 in seed capital, which means the accelerator has more than $7 million to invest. According to Tijani, CEO of YouTube Kenya, the rest of the money will be used to cover other resources, including staff costs, and provide support capital to startups as they grow.

Apart from the accelerated program, there is also an offering that provides diversification for subsequent investments and offers lower exposure to seed or Series A investors. According to Tijani, the next round of capital will come from CCHUB, a $50 million edtech fund it plans to launch in the next 12-24 months. An anchor investor has committed an initial round of $5 million, saying the innovation hub is in talks with telcos such as Safaricom and MTN to become not only investors in the fund but also distribution partners for edtech solutions. Fellowship’s portfolio.

“That’s what’s so special about this program. People who support us are not just saying ‘this is money, go and invest’. They’re funding us to be able to raise capital, putting heavy skin in the game, which is not uncommon in the VC space. The way we view our co-investors is layered. We are looking not only at VCs but also at development finance institutions and telcos. Overall, this activity that CCHub is starting will lead to investment for many VCs who want to invest in edtech startups,” Tijani explained, adding that the innovation hub will hold roadshows across India, Europe, and the US in the coming months to raise the funds.

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