BY TOM JACKSON
Five tech-enabled Kenyan startups have been selected for the second edition of the NINJA Accelerator, embarking on a 12-week programme that concludes with a demo day in January.
Powered by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Double Feather Partners, Deloitte Tohmatsu and GrowthAfrica, the NINJA Accelerator helps startups address specific issues in order to help them scale and access funding.
Five ventures have been selected to take part in the programme’s second cohort, across sectors as diverse as agri-tech, manufacturing and energy. They include Shamba Pride, which is disrupting rural distribution systems for Kenyan farmers by transforming informal agro-dealer stores into digishops; and Saada Tech, which has developed a plug and play tool that enables small and micro-businesses to set up USSD, WhatsApp, IVR, and SMS solutions in minutes without a single line of code.
The list is completed by Kijenzi; which is democratising manufacturing by providing local access to global supply chains and a distributed manufacturing platform; M-Paya Energy, which provides smart metering systems for electricity, water, and gas; and MyMoviesAfrica, a streaming platform.
“As we continue to run multiple acceleration programs in Africa under Project NINJA, we are particularly excited to conduct our second edition in Kenya after getting familiar with the Kenyan ecosystem during our previous programs. The NINJA Accelerator is not just about potential connections with Japanese investors or partners, but more about providing customised support to founders to help increase the socioeconomic impacts embedded in their entrepreneurship,” said Shingo Morihata, senior director of the Private Sector Development Group, Economic Development Department at JICA.