Challenges

Challenges

The 2023 Challenge welcomes startup applications from any African country.

The HealthTech Hub Africa, founded by the Novartis Foundation at the Norrsken House Kigali, is pleased to announce the second Africa HealthTech Challenge!

The HealthTech Hub Africa is a hybrid pan-African health tech accelerator with a physical co-working and community space in Kigali, Rwanda, operating across the entire African continent. The Hub is part of a new investment push that aims to revolutionize the development of health technologies designed by Africans for use in Africa and to help fast-track innovations in public health systems in direct collaboration with government leaders.

We are looking for the best, high-impact innovators with business-to-government focused solutions and business models that have the potential to drive transformational population health impact at scale for Africa.

The first year of the Hub program served as phase one in establishing a blueprint for a public-private mechanism to fast-track HealthTech Innovations for public health in Africa. Thanks to the close strategic collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, Ministry of ICT and Innovation, the City of Kigali, the Rwanda Biomedical Center, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and other governmental partners, this proof of concept blueprint is being successfully validated thanks to the engagement and collaboration activities of several of the 2022 cohort startups with relevant government agencies.

The 2023 Challenge will welcome startup applications from any African country.

Cardiovascular health

Reducing cardiovascular disease deaths on the population level through improved screening, referral, diagnosis, and management.

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Breast cancer

Reducing breast cancer deaths on the population level through improved screening, referral, diagnosis, and management.

Virtual health and care

Improving quality, access to equitable care, and digital literacy through remote delivery of preventative and curative health and care services.

Optimization of data-driven decision-making

Improving health system capabilities and epidemic preparedness through stronger integrated health information.

Who should apply

For the 2023 Cohort, we are looking for Up to 30 Growth Startups and 10 Scale ups from the whole African continent with innovative business models allowing for collaboration with local and national governments, and aiming to support health systems in their digital transformation journeys.

For each of the two tracks the key criterias of evaluation for the applicants are based on their ability to demonstrate the innovation potential to successfully address challenges in one or more of the four thematic areas of focus for the hub, their product excellence, team, fit-to-market, sustainability and scalability model in relation to working with the public system.

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Eligibility Criteria

The HealthTech Hub Challenge is open to all HealthTech startups with the following mandatory conditions:

  1. Evidence of a legal entity registered in an African country
  2. Clearly demonstrated population health impact through their solution
  3. Teams of two or more full-time employees can apply, and those with a more positive gender balance will be prioritized
  4. Startups must focus on one or more of the four thematic areas of the Hub: cardiovascular health, breast cancer, virtual health and care, and optimization of data-driven decision-making.
  5. Growth startups are not part of another accelerator program in the same year if they are selected

Why you should apply

The top three HealthTech startups in the growth track will receive $50,000, $30,000, and $20,000, respectively in grants from the Novartis foundation.

Additionally, 2023 cohort start-ups and alumni are eligible to apply for exclusive funding and support from HealthTech Hub Africa partners. This will include growth and scale-up grants to help validate, improve, accelerate and scale solutions in public health systems in Africa.

Participation in a 10-month accelerator program, which includes:

For the Growth Startups:

  • Mentorship from 2 volunteer mentors, per startup, with strong expertise in population health and technology
  • Coaching and access to an interactive platform for growth level support allowing for structuring and refinement of existing and new business models and preparing executive summaries
  • Expert masterclasses
  • Pitch practice sessions
  • Community support
  • Startup solution demos and opportunities to pitch during the two annual HealthTech summits in Kigali, Rwanda
  • Invitation to networking meetups and hybrid events across Africa and beyond

For the Scale ups:

  • Access to all the above benefits offered to growth startups
  • Free access to world-class legal services, accounting, marketing, talent acquisition, and accelerated fundraising
  • Media training and exposure

Participation in a 10-month accelerator program, which includes:

For the Growth Startups:

  • Mentorship from 2 volunteer mentors, per startup, with strong expertise in population health and technology
  • Coaching and access to an interactive platform for growth level support allowing for structuring and refinement of existing and new business models and preparing executive summaries
  • Expert masterclasses
  • Pitch practice sessions
  • Community support
  • Startup solution demos and opportunities to pitch during the two annual HealthTech summits in Kigali, Rwanda
  • Invitation to networking meetups and hybrid events across Africa and beyond

For the Scale ups:

  • Access to all the above benefits offered to growth startups
  • Free access to world-class legal services, accounting, marketing, talent acquisition, and accelerated fundraising
  • Media training and exposure

Membership in the HealthTech public-private partners network, which includes:

  • Free expert-level support from established local and global organizations in the form of advisory, facilitation, match-making with prospective partners, consulting, and more
  • Perks in the form of free and/or highly discounted infrastructure credits, software licenses, technical and design services, royalty-free images, and videos
  • Access to the hub’s investor circle
  • Access to various opportunities shared by the network

Funding opportunities for innovation acceleration in public health

Through the digital platform of the hub, all selected startups will be able to apply for grant funding and in-kind benefits exceeding USD 1M.

The funding will serve the startups to test, refine, validate, integrate and, accelerate and/or scale their solutions inside the public health systems of Rwanda, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Uganda, to drive forward health equity in the continent.

Following the projects’ completion, the solutions successfully integrated into the respective national health systems will be spotlighted and will have the opportunity to seek further support in the future.

Full-year access to a state-of-art co-working space

The membership comes with 12 months of serviced office space, meeting and conference spaces, and an invitation to startup community events hosted by the Norrsken East Africa House in Kigali.

Lifetime access to the hub’s alumni network and open-source resources

All startups and scale-ups who have completed the program will receive a Participation Certificate and a lifetime Alumni membership to the HealthTech Hub Africa’s resources and future opportunities.