Katapult and its partners launch the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program
On 4th November, Katapult launched the Katapult Africa Accelerator in Kigali, Rwanda in partnership with Norad, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Norrsken, and Smart Africa. 9 outstanding impact technology startups in the food-, agri- and climate-tech space have been selected to participate in Katapult’s Accelerator Program, they are:
GrowAgric is an end-to-end solution that provides small scale farmers with access to training, working capital financing, farm record keeping digital tools and access to new markets for their products.
Aquarech is at the forefront of aquaculture innovations to transform fish farmer livelihoods across Kenya. Strengthening the fish value chain and spearheading sustainable, environment-friendly practices buoys all actors involved.
Delivering the nutrition of meat at the price & sustainability of plants using insect agriculture.
Spark is a social finance app that makes transactions with your contacts better. Spark lets users chat and transact easily in one place, custom manage group finances, and view all transaction records in an organized way.
Helps businesses reduce loss of perishables through real-time asset monitoring.
Vetsark helps farmers and agribusinesses digitalise their data and get bank financing.
Elucid advance human rights in global supply chains by improving producers’ health and livelihoods.
Building the best B2B marketplace for smallholder farmers and food businesses.
Cultivating desert into arable land managed by regenerative agriculture practices and solar-desalination.
The official opening of the accelerator program was conducted by the Hon. Paula Ingabire, Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation, with the event also including presentations from Katapult’s Partners and lead investors into the Katapult Africa Seed Fund (Rwanda Social Security Board, Norfund and SOS Children’s Villages), and providing an opportunity for the 9 selected food-, agri- and climate-tech startups to engage widely in the Rwandan ecosystem and beyond.
Having screened over 700 startups, the 9 companies selected by Katapult constitute the very best talent working in the space of food-, agri- and climate impact-tech on the continent. Similarly they reflect the truly cross-continental effort of innovation. The startups traveling to Kigali represent 5 different African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal).
Over a 3 month period, the startups will go through Katapult’s world-class impact accelerator program, with a track record of producing ‘impact unicorns’. Described as the “most intense and fulfilling MBA you could ever undertake” – and focused on growth, impact and investment readiness – the cohort will engage in rigorous workshops, online meetups, mentor sessions, pitch training and investor presentations specifically designed to prepare the startups for scaling.
Founded in 2017 by the serial entrepreneur and tech investor, Tharald Nustad, Katapult has invested in 145 portfolio companies and has run ten accelerator programs to date. Underpinned by the vision of building a thriving world for all, the success of Katapult’s investment model has been proven by its four unicorn investments.
Speaking at the launch, Tharald Nustad said: “At Katapult we are highly ambitious and we set our vision to nothing short of building a thriving world for all. It is for this reason that today’s launch represents an important step forwards for both Katapult and the impact community.
Our decision to launch Katapult in Africa is driven by both a clear recognition of the need for change and an unprecedented opportunity for innovation. With a climate in crisis, it is all too clear that we must accelerate technologies to both overcome climate challenges and ensure food security. We simultaneously believe that it is Africa with its fast-growing business communities and young, tech-savvy population who are best placed to deliver highly scalable, highly impactful solutions.
With the price of inaction all too high and the opportunity for innovation all too apparent, it is a great privilege for us to be able to present 9 of the most dynamic African startups as they begin their Katapult journey.”
Speaking at the launch and of the ambitions of the program, Philip Gasaatura, Katapult Country Director, Rwanda, said: “I’m really excited for the future in Africa seeing many companies work tirelessly to solve the challenges in their communities and across Africa. Today, we are excited to welcome all the selected portfolio companies to the kick off of the second Katapult Africa program here in Kigali, Rwanda.
The portfolio of startups selected for the program, represent some of the very best talent, teams and companies across Africa solving some of the big challenges Africa faces in Agriculture and Climate resilience. Through the Accelerator program the focus will be on supporting these startups through their Growth, Investment and Impact Strategies.”
Learn more about Katapult Africa here