i3 is sponsored by a global network of industry leaders, donors and African institutions who facilitate the systematic deployment of grants to selected startups, and help establish access to market mechanisms to connect selected startups to customers who can drive their impact at scale.
It seeks high-potential startups who can help transform the availability, accessibility, affordability, quality and visibility of health products at scale specifically creating health impact and prosperity.
Disrupt Africa announced on its site that the selected healthtech startups will secure a US$50,000 grant and access to market opportunities to catalyze growth-driven partnerships with donors, industry and institutional stakeholders.
“The goal is to invest in Africa’s most promising early to growth-stage startups in health care supply chains, and the first 30 startups have now been selected, hailing from 14 countries across Africa,” the new outlet reported.
Disrupt Africa further noted that nearly 50 per cent of the startups are women-led, and 30 per cent operate in Francophone Africa.
The thirty startups include Chekkit Technologies, Medsaf, DrugStoc, Erith Health Services, Gricd, LifeBank, Lifestores Healthcare, OneHealth, ClinicPesa, Damu Sasa, The Pathology Network, Negus Med, Signalytic and 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 will also benefit from the pan-African Investing in Innovation programme.
In addition, the programme is sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and AmerisourceBergen.
“Digitally-enabled, locally-led innovations have huge potential to help address the challenges of access to medicines for historically unserved patients in Africa,” said Ann Allen, senior programme officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
She further expressed her excitement to see strong women leaders at the helm of many of the selected startups, adding that innovation ecosystems are strengthened by diversity.