Open Startup (OST) has announced a call for applications for the OST pre-seed accelerator program. The program was developed in collaboration with Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School in New York, and aims to support early-stage startups and promising talents from Tunisia, Senegal, and Morocco.

The OST Program is designed to assist 30 selected startups in advancing from a proof of concept stage to a minimum viable product (MVP) over an intensive 18-week hybrid program. The program will run from September 2024 to January 2025, with a total of zero-equity Ksh 6.4 million (USD 50,000) funding distributed among finalists to boost their growth, with no equity taken.

In addition to the funding, the program will offer customized training and mentoring delivered by experts and supported by MBA students from Columbia Business School. Shortlisted startups will also gain access to an extensive international network and trips to New York, Tunisia, and Morocco, designed to provide participants with international exposure and networking opportunities.

Early-stage startups with proof of concept and individuals with soft and technical skills are invited to apply. Deadline for applications is July 21st, 2024.

Commenting on the program, alumni Riadh Hamama, CEO and Founder of LoxBox Services said, “The OST Program connected us with experts, speeding up our market understanding and product fit. The mentorship offered and the global networking accelerated our growth and opened doors to international collaboration.”

The OST Program continues OST’s drive to accelerate Africa’s tech innovators. It follows our MOU with French public investment bank BPI France aimed at bridging African innovation with the French tech ecosystem and our successful 2024 Global Immersion Week (GIW) held in Morocco in May where OST signed MOUs with key Moroccan entities, including Technopark Maroc and UM6P, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. Through the OST Program, GIW and the MOU, OST outlines its commitment to offering a range of inclusive programs that accelerate entrepreneurial development and accelerate the growth of African startups and ecosystems.