Qualcomm has announced the shortlisted startups for Qualcomm Make in Africa 2024, from an application pool of about 250 startups from 30 countries. Four out of the 10 shortlisted startups are from Kenya. These are Aurora Health, CropScan, RIM Nextgen and NextAI Studios.

Now in its second year, the Qualcomm Africa Innovation Platform aims to work with and support the development of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem. This is by providing mentorship, education, and training programs with a focus on 5G, Edge-AI/ML, Compute, and IoT.

The company also announced the winner of the 2023 Wireless Reach Social Impact Fund at the event. As the first initiative of its kind in Africa, Qualcomm Make in Africa identifies promising early-stage startups keen on applying advanced connectivity and processing technologies.

According to Qualcomm, the shortlisted startups have demonstrated exceptional potential in applying advanced connectivity and processing technologies to innovative end-to-end systems solutions. The selected startups will receive free mentorship, business coaching, access to engineering consultation for product development, and guidance on protecting intellectual property.

The 2024 cohort includes the startups listed below.

  • Aurora Health from Kenya provides AI-based cardiovascular health care tools.
  • NextAI Studios from Kenya builds AI-based emotion detection into toys for children’s mental healthcare.
  • RIM Nextgen from Kenya, uses smart tools for monitoring propane consumption.
  • CropScan from Kenya uses solar-powered smart farming IoT devices.
  • Cure Bionics from Tunisia makes smart 3D printed prosthetic arms.
  • DevisionX from Egypt provides AI-based low-code computer vision tools.
  • Kalio from Cameroon is building AI tools for Agricultural IoT
  • Kitovu from Nigeria provides tools and software for smart agricultural warehouse management.
  • Sparcx from South Africa uses AI for enhancing radar signal processing.
  • Vizmerald from Tunisia is working on AI-based textile industry inspection.

The 2023 Wireless Reach Social Impact Fund, provided by Qualcomm through its Qualcomm Wireless Reach Initiative, aims to support startups in scaling their societal and market impact. Ecorich Solutions Limited, a female-founded organization based in Nairobi, will be awarded funding to help scale the impact of their smart organic food composter.

Wireless Reach funding will support Ecorich to address the dual challenge of organic waste management and the need for sustainable agricultural practices, with the goal of reducing environmental pollution, improving crop yields for farmers, and mitigating waste-related health risks for communities. The other nine startups from the 2023 cohort will also receive valuable stipends to continue fueling their growth. These startups have showcased innovative uses of wireless technology to address pressing needs in their communities.