African startups invited to apply for Norwegian accelerator

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African startups have been invited to apply for the Norway-based Katapult Accelerator, an impact-tech programme that offers startups hands-on assistance and US$150,000 in funding.

Applications are open until December 15 for the Katapult Accelerator, which is looking for startups using artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to solve environmental and societal challenges.

The programme will take place in Oslo and run for three months from February 2018. Selected startups will receive US$150,000 in return for eight per cent equity in the business, and will be given access to hands-on training and mentorship over the duration of the programme.

They will also be provided with access to a global network of leading thematic mentors, dedicated expertise to unleash potential of AI in their businesses, and the chance to access to further capital.

A selected number of companies will also be given the opportunity to take part in a one-month follow-up programme in New York with Katapult partner ERA, a leading startup accelerator that has made 127 investments since 2011 and has a network of more than 350 mentors and dozens of industry partners.

Kenyan startup Sky.Garden was one of the 12 startups selected to join the last cohort of the Katapult Accelerator. Sky.Garden is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for mobile commerce that is built specifically for African businesses. Its easy-to-use online marketplace allows informal traders, SMEs and established businesses to sell their products.

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