As part of its Next Innovation with Japan project (Project NINJA), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is expanding its start-up accelerator program (NINJA Accelerator) to Kenya, scheduled to take place in Nairobi on April 7th, 2021, in partnership with the Double Feather Partners (DFP) / Deloitte Tohmatsu consortium, and GrowthAfrica. The “NINJA Accelerator in Kenya” is the first of a series of NINJA Accelerators that JICA plans to launch in Africa over the next three years, further broadening JICA’s engagement with African start-ups, building upon its “NINJA Business Plan Competition in Response to COVID-19”, whose Grand Finale will be streamed live from Tokyo on February 26th, 2021. Japanese-led accelerator expanding to Kenya After Ethiopia in 2020, JICA expands its start-up accelerator program to Kenya.
The NINJA Accelerator in Kenya will take place in partnership with Japanese consulting firms Double Feather Partners (DFP), Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support (DTVS), Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory LLC (DTFA), and Kenya based business accelerator GrowthAfrica. A first cohort of five Kenyan start-ups will be carefully selected to take part in a three-month, tailored, intensive program, offering a unique blend of Japanese and African expertise, local knowledge, and access to a pool of Japanese, African and global mentors and investors. Moreover, each selected startup will be offered a symbolic US$ 15,000 Welcome Award from Double Feather Partners, as well as a chance to participate a business event in Tokyo courtesy of JICA among other surprises. Applications to the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya are now open until February 22, 2021.
More information can be found on the program’s website at www.jica.ninja. The Grand Finale of the NINJA Business Plan Competition in Response to COVID-19 In addition to its upcoming NINJA Accelerators in Africa, JICA will be organizing the Grand Finale of its “NINJA Business Plan Competition in Response to COVID-19” on February 26, 2021 in partnership with Japan’s leading business publication Nikkei and Japanese consulting firm Double Feather Partners. Launched in July 2020, 10 Finalists were selected out of over 2,700 African start-ups from 19 countries for a chance to sign a work contract with JICA, win an equity/debt-free sum of up to US$ 30,000, and take part in a pitch event, the Grand Finale, hosted in Tokyo for further investments and business partnership opportunities sponsored by JICA. The 10 Finalists (in Alphabetic order) are: Agrinfo (Tanzania), And Africa LLC (South Africa), Appy People (Angola), Emergency Response Africa (Nigeria), Lifestores Healthcare (Nigeria), MajestEYE (Tunisia), Mobile Scan Solutions (Uganda), Moja Ride (Côte d’Ivoire), TranSoniCa (Ghana), and Upepo Technology (Kenya).
The Grand Finale will be streamed online, for free, with simultaneous interpretation in English and French, on February 26, 2021. Viewers can register and gain additional information on the event’s web page at https://events.nikkei.co.jp/34777/