How can we create impactful solutions leveraging the power of cross-collaboration and technology? Futurize is launching its first annual Fuel Africa Innovation Program from March 17-25, 2022 in partnership with AstraZeneca, through the A.Catalyst Network, and Microsoft. The program is co-funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and Famfa Oil. The mission is to equip young entrepreneurs with the resources to build high-potential venture ideas and contribute to sustainable development globally.

The program virtually brings together hundreds of students and recent alumni from 12 universities across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for an entrepreneurship boot camp and innovation competition. Participants form multi-disciplinary teams, receive industry insights, mentorship, and hands-on training through workshops to generate solutions for early-stage business ventures. In the end, teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and are awarded pre-seed investment through cash prizes and opportunities to advance their careers.

This year’s two topic areas focus on creating solutions to provide greater access to healthcare as well as the screening, early diagnosis and optimal management of Non-Communicable Diseases. “Through A.Catalyst Network, AstraZeneca’s interconnected and dynamic global network of more than 20 health innovation hubs, we are co-creating challenge-based solutions with and for patients. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs are steadily increasing in prevalence in Africa, and they are predicted to overtake communicable diseases by the year 2030. Over time, NCDs have grown to become the leading cause of death worldwide. These numbers demonstrate the urgency in acting on it. By partnering with Futurize, we want to offer students in Africa exciting opportunities to connect and collaborate with a truly global network of expertise and experience, helping to accelerate innovation and ensure that more patients can get access to the latest health tech solutions”, said Barbara Nel, African Cluster Country President at AstraZeneca. These solutions are to be aligned with advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health & Well-being), 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Equality).

Fuel Africa

Teams are encouraged to consider the latest technologies and leverage data to provide greater access to the healthcare system. Microsoft supports students to enhance their technical skills and guides teams to create prototypes if they wish to do so. “Microsoft, through the Africa Transformation Office, is committed to supporting education transformation across Africa with access to learning tools, resources and technology. We look forward to seeing what innovative solutions to pressing concerns these bright minds will develop during the program,” says Yacine Barro Bourgault, Enablement Lead: Africa Transformation Office at Microsoft.

Digital training is crucial to sustainable development, boosting entrepreneurship and job creation. “By bridging the gap between education and the current labour markets, entrepreneurship programs like Fuel Africa can unlock the tremendous talent universities hold,” said Futurize CEO Rhea Singhla. “The only way one can move forward is through innovation, and this can only be done by investing in fresh solutions to solve current problems,” said Rotimi Alakija, Famfa Oil Ltd.

For more information, please visit: 

Elsewhere on Ventures

Triangle arrow