Microsoft’s series of initiatives aimed at accelerating investment in Africa’s start-up ecosystem over the next five years would benefit at least 10,000 start-ups across the African continent.
“Investments into Africa’s startup ecosystem are growing at an exciting pace,” says Wael Elkabbany, Managing Director, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Africa has over 640 active tech hubs that are accelerating innovation and creating jobs, particularly among the youth. Currently, the African startup market accounts for less than 1% of total global investment. This must change.”
Elkabbany also stated that Microsoft is forming new alliances with accelerators and incubators across Africa, such as Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax, and Seedstars, to provide industry-based startups with access to markets, technical skills, and funding opportunities.
According to Elkabbany, these partnerships will provide African startups with access to skilling programs, markets, including opportunities to co-sell with Microsoft, and technology, as well as support from Microsoft’s engineering and product teams for co-innovation opportunities.
“There is enormous potential for Africa to become a thriving hub of digital innovation on the global startup landscape,” Elkabbany concluded. Our goal is to see an explosion of local invention that will benefit not only Africa’s digital economy, but also global society.”
Gerald Maithya, Startups Lead, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, stated on Microsoft’s Founders Hub: “The Founders Hub allows Microsoft to engage with accelerators, incubators, and tech hubs across the continent.” Our collaborations with key African accelerators provide critical assistance in accelerating growth-stage startups’ business development and market expansion plans.”
“We understand that each startup is unique and exists beyond the limitations of a one-size-fits-all partnership model,” Maithya said of Microsoft’s partnership with start-ups. As a result, Microsoft will tailor each partnership to the needs of individual startups, providing assistance and access – whether to technology, markets and co-sell opportunities, funding, or digital skills – to enable them to grow and contribute to Africa’s overall economic growth.
“Our goal in forming these partnerships with venture capital investors is to broaden the network of potential partnerships between Microsoft, venture capital investors, and startups, thereby increasing the funding available to eligible startups.”