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  • Co-Creation Hub’s Edtech accelerator commits $15 million to African startups – australiabusinessblog.com

Co-Creation Hub’s Edtech accelerator commits $15 million to African startups – australiabusinessblog.com

Africa’s largest innovation hub Co-creation hub (CcHUB), is launching a $15 million accelerator program called The Edtech Fellowship Program to fund and support 72 startups in Nigeria and Kenya over the next three years, australiabusinessblog.com has learned.

According to a statement shared by the company, the accelerator program will support and amplify the impact of edtech startups across Africa, as well as support founders who offer tech solutions that address learning innovation in an education sector riddled with a plethora of issues.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of children and youth out of school, with approximately 98 million children and youth excluded from education. report. Even for those in school, the quality of education at all levels from K-12 to tertiary is appalling. For example, students in computer science disciplines at most Nigerian universities learn obsolete programming languages ​​with no current real-world applications. Other problems include insufficient funding, school strikes and brain drain.

Over the years, mobile and internet penetration and access to smartphones have increased; according to According to GSMA Intelligence’s report, mobile phone subscribers accounted for 46% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, while smartphone adoption will reach 64% in 2021.all edtech startups to develop digital platforms that have somehow given thousands of Africans better learning and employment opportunities. For example, Tencent-backed uLesson, YC-backed Kidato, and LocalGlobe-backed Foondamate provide learning programs, through various methods, to K-12 students, while Andela and GOMYCODE, among others, match skilled technical professionals and students with local and foreign employers.

While these platforms have seen some degree of success, they haven’t moved the needle in Africa’s multibillion-dollar edtech market. More edtech solutions need to be built and supported for this. However with edtech is the eighth most invested sector in Africa according to this reportthe startups have their work off their hands. Bosnia Tijani, the co-founder and CEO of CcHUB, has two theories about why edtech growth in Africa is stunted and why the startups find it challenging to raise investment dollars. First, the edtech space is highly regulated, more so than the casual tech observer might think. The other is that startups rarely interact with government or educational institutions and vice versa. As such, Tijani thinks launching an accelerator program with an inclusive ecosystem could herald multiple success stories and a more mature edtech industry.

“If we intentionally invest in a highly structured edtech-inclusive ecosystem of government, teachers, investors, foundations and even in some cases the students and their parents, we believe we can gain a better understanding of how we can use technology to enhance learning. in schools,” Tijani said in an interview with australiabusinessblog.com. “It is important that when we build a program that not only finds the brightest people in the startup ecosystem, but also connects the startup ecosystem with government agencies, public sectors, schools and academic institutions, so that we can make sure there is a clear understanding of how to scale education solutions in space.

The fellowship program focuses on startups in Nigeria and Kenya, two of the continent’s largest edtech markets. Of the 300+ startups in both markets, tutorial apps and platforms that emphasize rote learning are in the majority. Still, Tijani said the accelerator program would try to fund solutions that play outside of these frameworks. That says Africa’s CEO $2 billion education market, now more than ever requires more unorthodox solutions. And CcHUB, which has spearheaded several edtech initiatives (one of which I own voluntarily for) and has supported successful and failed edtech startups through other incubator and accelerator programs in the past, hopes such solutions that address challenges in K-12, tertiary and skills-to-job markets.

Our thinking is quite broad. We know the core will likely be narrowed down to a few areas depending on what we see, but we are challenging ourselves not to fund the most obvious solutions,” he noted. “We’re not just going to support a startup; we will see that these startups also stimulate learning outcomes.”

CcHUB plans to take on that task with the help of an in-house research team dedicated to working with portfolio startups and testing their products from launch to scale. They are part of a 30-person team across several expert groups that CcHub will deliver to selected startups in both locations, including product development, government relations, pedagogy and learning science, portfolio management, communication, educational design and community building. By offering shared resources, these groups will be too essential to how any startup conducts team building, MVP and prototyping testing, go-to-market strategies, engagement with organizations, and receiving user feedback. This added value will also in addition to the $100,000 initial funding that startups access during the program.

In the next three years, we will bring 72 edtech companies to market. We think that will kick-start the ecosystem and reboot it, because at least from that number, you know for sure that about half or 20-30% of them will live another three to four years. And that allows us to know if technology can really work for education in Africa,” Tijani noted.

Supporting so many startups in three years suggests that CcHUB’s Edtech Fellowship program will accept 24 startups in Nigeria and Kenya annually (12 each). Also, these startups receive $100,000 seed capital points for the accelerator spending more than $7 million on investments alone. Tijani, also the CEO of iHub in Kenya, said the remaining funds will be used to channel other resources into the accelerator, including staff costs and providing support capital to startups as they progress.

Outside of the accelerator program, there is also a provision for follow-on investments that provide diversification and lower risk for seed or Series A investors. According to Tijani, follow-up capital will come from a $50 million edtech fund that aims to launch CcHUB within the next 12-24 months; an anchor investor has initially pledged $5 million, he said, adding that the innovation hub is in talks with telcos like Safaricom and MTN to explore arrangements that would allow them to become not only investors in the fund, but also distribution partners for edtech solutions in the Fellowship’s portfolio.

“That is also the unique thing about this program. The people who support us don’t just say: ‘this is money, go invest.’ They put some serious skin in the game and fund us to raise capital, which is not common in the VC space. The way we look at our pool of co-investors is stacked. We look not only at VCs, but also at development finance institutions and telcos. Overall, this activity that CcHub is embarking on will discourage investment for many of the VCs looking to put money into edtech startups,” said Tijani, who also added that the innovation hub would hold roadshows across India, Europe, and the US in the coming months to raise the fund.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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