BY TOM JACKSON
The founders of Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture and Nigeria’s 54gene have been accepted into the global Endeavor network, gaining access to various support services to help their companies scale.
The Endeavor initiative works to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide, and has accepted a host of African entrepreneurs into its network in recent years, most recently at the end of May.
At its recent seventh Virtual International Selection Panel, Endeavor selected nine entrepreneurs from six markets to join its network, which now comprises 2,098 entrepreneurs leading 1,310 companies in 37 markets around the world.
They included Benjamin Njenga and Eli Pollak of Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture, which delivers bundled seed, fertiliser, insurance, advice and access to market to smallholder farmers across Kenya through a digital, vertically integrated, and cost-effective approach.
Also selected was Dr Abasi Ene-Obong of Nigeria’s 54gene, an African genomics research, services, and development company addressing the need to include under-represented African genomic data in research which could lead to medical breakthroughs and new healthcare solutions worldwide.
“It is an absolute honour to be selected as an Endeavor entrepreneur. We started 54gene to significantly improve the inclusion of African populations in global genomics research and I am glad to see our work is being recognised. Our mission is to continue driving innovation and change in research and I look forward to the opportunities that arise as a result of being supported by the global Endeavor network in expanding 54gene’s impact globally,” said Ene-Obong.
It continues what has been an impressive year for both companies, notably from a fundraising perspective. Apollo Agriculture concluded a US$6 million Series A round back in June, while 54gene raised a US$15 million Series A round in April.