Investing in Innovation (i3), an African support initiative for African health supply chain startups, has announced its first cohort of 30 companies. The selected startups include Kenyan startups Zuri Health and Damu Sasa.
The initiative is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, AUDA-NEPAD, and AmerisourceBergen.
i3 unites donors, industry and African institutions to support African-led innovations in health. Selected start-ups will receive a $50,000 grant and support to catalyse growth-driven partnerships with donors, industry and institutions.
The 30 companies selected are from 14 African countries. They early and growth stage companies who are delivering solutions for device and medicines distribution, stock management and financing, authentication, traceability, medical waste management. 47% of the companies are women-led and 30% of the companies are operating in Francophone Africa.
The selected companies are: Chekkit Technologies, Disrupt Pharma Tech Africa (Medsaf), DrugStoc Ehub Limited, Erith Health Services, Gricd, LifeBank, Lifestores Healthcare, OneHealth, ClinicPesa, Damu Sasa, The Pathology Network, Negus Med, Signalytic, Viebeg Technologies, Zuri Health, Xetova, Cure Bionics, DeepEcho, Dr Sett, Infiuss Health Limited, Medevice, Meditect, Sobrus, Valorigo, Azanza Health, Appy Saude, Aviro Health, Contro, VaxiGlobal, and Zinacare.
i3 is coordinated by Salient Advisory, SCIDaR, and SouthBridge A&I. It is operationalized by technology hubs across the continent: CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa, and Villgro Africa for East Africa. These hubs are responsible for the selection process and the follow-up of the startups throughout the program.