Unreasonable East Africa, an accelerator program giving “unreasonable advantage” to entrepreneurs creating solutions to East Africa’s biggest social and environmental problems, has unveiled its class of 2016.
The class of 2016 consist of 9 startups that are innovating new technologies, transforming systems and pioneering new ways of thinking.
The class includes Bidhaa Sasa, which enables rural families in Kenya to affordably own household products; low-cost financial services provider in Kenya, Credit Factory; FarmDrive, a financial provider to small holder farmers in East Africa, and Inagape Limited, a startup that increases the incomes of smallholder farmers through value-added processing.
Others are Kyaninga Child Development Centre, which helps Ugandan children with disabilities become active members of their communities; provider of affordable and high quality feeds to smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya, Lisha Bora, and Numida, which increases access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises in East Africa.
Completing the class are SimuSolar, a distributor of high quality and affordable clean energy solutions in Tanzania; Social Impact Institute Africa, which unlocks the agri-business potential of smallholder farmers in Kenya, and SoLight, a clean energy provider in rural areas in Uganda.
All the startups will receive training from more than 80 world class mentors, work closely with an in-house finance team, connect with funders and join a growing community of over 100 entrepreneurs from 45 countries.
To get into the institute, the startups would need to raise a small fee upfront to cover their tuition. To make this process less cumbersome, Unreasonable Marketplace, a crowdfunding platform, has been launched.
Persons interested in helping these startups can donate as little as US$5 via the marketplace. Donations will close on May 13, 2016.
“If these entrepreneurs are able to raise their full tuition on the Unreasonable Marketplace, they’ll secure the chance to work with over 50-world class mentors, forge relationships with over a dozen funders, pitch to about 300 people, get 5-weeks of food and lodging, and build an ever-growing network of fellow Unreasonable entrepreneurs for the rest of their lives without having to pay a dime themselves,” said the organizers in a statement.
The class were selected from 120 companies from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan that applied for the programme.
Unreasonable East Africa has run two programs since late 2013, working with 21 companies from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan which have all gone on to collectively over US$5 million.
Unreasonable East Africa is backed by Boulder-based Global Unreasonable Institute, which have worked with over 120 companies from 45 countries and have raised funds totalling over US$53 million.