Startups participating in the second season of the Facebook Accelerator Programme have raised over $500,000 in investments and grants just three months into the program, already surpassing the total amount secured in the first edition.
A joint statement from Facebook and CcHUB shows that the startups have also achieved other significant milestones within the same period such as making significant product pivots, sealing key partnerships and recording progress towards creating unique products with world-class business processes.
“The numbers speak for themselves, and further reinforces that the work and investments we are undertaking here in Nigeria are having real impact,” said Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa at Facebook.
The FbStart Accelerator Programme held at NG_Hub – the tech company’s flagship Community Hub space launched in partnership with CcHUB in 2018 at Yaba – is aimed to provide support and empower students and entrepreneurs to build locally relevant solutions using advanced technologies. The six-month program provides the teams with access to product and industry experts, as well as deeper knowledge on how to create solutions that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Data Science and Virtual Reality.
A total of 15 startups and student teams graduated from the maiden edition of the Facebook Accelerator as of April 2019, raising cumulatively over $400,000 in investments and grants.
“At Facebook, we are passionate about helping developers and entrepreneurs to grow. We believe in empowering small businesses through our platforms to help more people launch and grow their businesses, which translates to real impact for their communities and local economies,” Ikenze added.
Startups in the ongoing program have so far been introduced to multiple venture capitalists and corporate executives and also matched with advisors within the CcHUB Global Advisory network comprising c-suite executives and experts from companies like Dell, Oracle, IHS Towers, Stanbic IBTC, Cellulant, Old Mutual, Axa Mansard, among others.
Six of the startups contributed to the $500,000 total raised so far, with highlights including:
Chekkit, the only African company to be accepted into a global accelerator, cementing a key partnership for their organization. They also sealed a partnership with the Fantom foundation for their blockchain product and received a grant from Umdasch Challenge at World Summit Awards 2020.
Haulr emerged second place in the recently concluded Zenith Bank’s hackathon securing N6 million.
Simbi Interactives sealed key partnerships and has so far received more than $35,000 in investments and grants.
Student team, Vinsighte has completed its prototype that reads books to the visually impaired using computer vision.
AirSynq, completed its balloon satellite prototype and has enterprise clients on the waiting list for its product launch in February.
Gradely launched the beta version of its product, and received its first set of customers, whilst increasing the number of schools they are present in by 200 percent.
Furthermore, these startups (and many more) will be showcasing their innovations and solutions, aimed at tackling problems across multiple sectors, to corporate executives, multinationals and other potential partners during the annual Facebook Accelerator Programme Innovation Showcase week in February 2020.
“This is yet another extremely brilliant cohort of startups from the Facebook acceleration program which we are deeply proud of,” CEO of CcHUB, Bosun Tijani said, adding that this goes to further highlight “the readiness of innovators across Africa to leapfrog development on the continent with technological innovation.”
“We are delighted to be part of this journey with Facebook in its desire to inspire African entrepreneurs to be among the best in the world,” Tijani said.
During the three months remaining, the season two cohort will be undertaking workshop sessions, faculty one-on-ones, growth planning, Industry Advisor Sessions and mock pitches, rounded off with a demo day in April, the end of the program.