Katapult launches Africa Accelerator Program in partnership with Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Norrsken, Smart Africa and Norad

Norrsken House, Kigali

During the last years, Katapult has developed several close partnerships in Rwanda and across the African continent. Katapult is now launching the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program in partnership with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Norrsken and Smart Africa and with the support of Norad with the aim of investing in impact driven startups within agri-, food- and climate-tech across the continent.

The last decade has witnessed a tech revolution in Africa. An early adopter of e-banking and mobile phone technology, young and tech-savvy communities have leapfrogged traditional paths of development. The continent has also benefited from free-trade agreements creating transnational networks of startups, founders and tech entrepreneurs. For Katapult, Africa is now primed to mobilize its development path for the purpose of ushering in the next wave of impact tech. In particular, the continent has the opportunity to become a leader in the food, climate and agri-tech sectors. Not only helping to meet global consumption demands but do so  both equitably and sustainably.

Recognizing the opportunity and potential that African markets represent, Katapult and its partners have launched the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program. Taking learnings from in-depth industry expertise and Katapult’s previous accelerator programs, the Africa Accelerator Program will adopt a holistic approach, investing in and helping to scale startups that innovate within the intrinsically linked fields of agri-, food-, and climate-tech.

Katapult Africa has recently opened an office in Kigali, Rwanda. Positioned as a financial and technology center on the continent, Rwanda’s growing profile as a startup hub offers both the geographical proximity, networks and enabling environment for companies looking to scale within and beyond African markets. 

The program will take place over a 3 month period and take a hybrid format where participants will have the opportunity to participate in the program both digitally and on location in Kigali. The program seeks to accelerate and invest in up to 15 startups and additionally run a 30 place pre-accelerator program. The program will focus on African agriculture, food and climate solutions, and Katapult strongly encourages startups working in the following areas to apply:

Agriculture and Food Production

Startups with technologies in agricultural tools and equipment, agro-inputs, production and conservation management platforms, and enhanced biotech and foods

Supply Chain Services

Startups providing innovative financial services, and accessible data, information and knowledge for consumers and businesses

Distribution and Logistics 

Startups working on sustainable transport, storage, and supply chain marketplaces and platforms

Sustainable Infrastructure

Startups realizing critical value chain opportunities for renewable energy, and processing and recycling technology

Speaking at the launch, Katapult Country Director for Rwanda, Philip Gasaatura says, “As Katapult launches the Africa Accelerator program, the Katapult Africa team here in Kigali, Rwanda are all very excited to be working with our program partners TBI, Smart Africa and Norrsken, as well as engaging with companies, different ecosystem partners and corporate partners.

We believe African startups can help solve some of the big challenges Africa faces today as one of the fastest growing markets and this we believe is a great investment opportunity and so our goal is to find, invest in and help scale some of the most exciting tech companies with the most impact potential on Africa’s food and agri value chains, across Africa.”

Katapult’s founder Tharald Nustad says, “Over the last five years, Katapult has been determined in its vision to build a thriving world for all. A key element in operationalizing this vision is to look to where we can have the most impact possible. With growing economies and proven entrepreneurial credentials, we believe the African continent is key in ushering in the agricultural, food and climate solutions that the global population requires. In mobilizing Katapult’s investment model in Rwanda, we see the ability to not only harness innovation but to act as an impetus for job and wealth creation both in East Africa and the wider-continent.”

Are you an impact driven startup working in climate- or agri-tech? Apply to the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program here.

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