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    HomePartner ContentMeet the Nine Startups Selected for the Inaugural Spark Accelerator Program

    Meet the Nine Startups Selected for the Inaugural Spark Accelerator Program

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    Safaricom, in partnership with M-PESA Africa and Sumitomo Corporation, has unveiled the nine promising Kenyan startups chosen for the inaugural Spark Accelerator Program. The program, designed to boost early-stage businesses, focuses on fostering innovation and addressing societal challenges in the fintech and content creation sectors.

    The selected startups, representing a diverse range of innovative solutions, are:

    1. Chumz.io: A platform leveraging mobile money, gamification, and behavioral psychology to cultivate a community of savers.
    2. nobuk: Streamlines payment collection and reconciliation for African groups and collectives, simplifying financial reporting.
    3. chpter: Employs AI to automate conversations, marketing, and payments on social platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, empowering businesses to enhance their online sales.
    4. FaidiHR: Provides an all-in-one cloud-based payroll and HR platform for businesses.
    5. Churpy Inc.: Aims to automate repetitive financial tasks, increasing efficiency in the offices of financial professionals.
    6. Twiva: A social-commerce platform that connects brands with influencers to expand their market reach.
    7. HealthX: A data-driven primary healthcare provider offering both digital and physical access points, with the ambitious goal of providing a doctor for every Kenyan.
    8. BlackRhino VR: Enables creators and brands to develop immersive and interactive stories for modern audiences.
    9. VunaPay: A platform designed for agricultural cooperatives, facilitating instant payments to smallholder farmers.

    The Spark Accelerator Program is implemented by iHub Nairobi, a renowned innovation hub, and is supported by other industry giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS), PwC, and Vodacom. The program offers a comprehensive package of support, including funding, mentorship, training, and access to markets, all aimed at helping these startups scale and achieve long-term success.

    This program represents a significant shift in Safaricom’s approach to supporting startups. Previously, the company offered grants through the Spark Fund. With Spark Accelerator, Safaricom is taking a more holistic approach, providing not only funding but also mentorship, training, and go-to-market support.

    The Spark Accelerator initiative is part of a broader collaboration between Safaricom, Sumitomo Corporation, and Vodafone to build a new digital economic zone in Africa. This initiative seeks to leverage the strengths of each company — Safaricom’s telecommunications network, Sumitomo’s business experience, and Vodafone’s global expertise — to create innovative fintech solutions that address the challenges faced by African consumers and businesses.

    In addition to the Spark Accelerator Program, Safaricom recently announced the formation of two venture capital firms to support seed-stage and growth-stage startups. This move further solidifies Safaricom’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of Kenyan entrepreneurs and driving innovation in the fintech sector.

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