AFRICA – Seedstars, a global venture capital fund, and Shell Foundation, an initiative of the oil major Royal Dutch Shell, have joined forces to look for sustainable, scalable and innovative startups addressing universal access to energy-related challenges, as well as sustainable agriculture, mobility and transportation.

With support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), they are launching the Energy, Mobility and Agriculture Innovation Program to find African tech entrepreneurs in the mobility, transportation, energy, and agriculture space in order to provide them with the resources, training, and potential funding to scale their startups and impact.

The objective of this program is to support, catalyse and train the highest potential tech-based early-stage African-led startups working towards universal access to energy including household energy to heat, light and cook, energy for business and large communities; sustainable mobility and transportation including clean and safe transportation in rural areas and last-mile transportation or sustainable agriculture value chains that involve innovations that improve access to knowledge, finance, markets or knowledge for smallholder farmers.

Selected startups will be able to take part in Seedstars’ three-month Investment Readiness Program, which will provide the entrepreneurs with 1-on-1 mentoring with industry experts, potential funding opportunities, and leverage human and knowledge resources available within Shell Foundation.

“Start-ups have immense potential to solve Africa’s biggest development challenges and local African entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to develop these solutions.”

Tara Collier – Market Development Manager, Shell Foundation

Startups should be African-led and based or operating in at least one Sub-Saharan African country with tech solution focussed on the areas indicated above. They must also be early-stage/seed with a minimum viable product (MVP) with initial traction and already able to generate revenue.

Lastly, interested startups must have raised less than US$1 million since their inception and should have a significant positive impact on lower-income communities (in line with SDGs 2, 7 or 11).

In an official press release, Tara Collier, Market Development Manager of the Shell Foundation explains that the partnership with Seedstars will contribute to solving development challenges across Africa.

“Start-ups have immense potential to solve Africa’s biggest development challenges and local African entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to develop these solutions,” he said.

“We are excited to collaborate with Seedstars to identify and support some of the most promising African-led start-ups that will scale these solutions and improve millions of lives across the continent over time.”

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