Startups & Ideas

Gates Foundation backs 29 African Healthcare Startups in i3 Second Cohort

Investing in Innovation Africa (i3) Announces Second Cohort of Healthcare Start-ups Across 21 African Countries

Investing in Innovation Africa (i3), a groundbreaking pan-African initiative dedicated to fostering the growth of healthcare supply chain start-ups, has unveiled its second cohort of 29 companies. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by industry giants like Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft, and Chemonics, i3 is a vital catalyst for the commercialization of promising early- and growth-stage companies across the African continent.

The selected start-ups hail from 21 different African countries and are poised to deliver digitally-enabled healthcare supply chain solutions. Among their innovations are online pharmacies, telemedicine firms, inventory management services for pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals, supply chain data analytics, product protection, product visibility, and more. Notably, 38% of the chosen companies are women-led, and 17% are operating in Francophone Africa.

The 29 Start-ups Making Waves in African Healthcare:

Here are the 29 start-ups that have been selected for the second cohort of i3 in alphabetical order:

  1. Afia Group Limited
  2. Aimcare Health
  3. Bena Care
  4. BioCertica
  5. Chari Pharma
  6. CheckUps Medical
  7. Chefaa
  8. Dawa Mkononi
  9. Drugstore Nigeria
  10. Famasi Limited
  11. Field Intelligence, Inc
  12. GICMED
  13. Grinta
  14. Healthtracka
  15. Kapsule
  16. Medical Diagnostech
  17. Medpharma Alliance International Limited
  18. Octosoft Technologies Limited
  19. Pharmarun
  20. Pharmaserv Health Project Nigeria Limited
  21. Reductiona
  22. SASA Health Limited
  23. Tech Care For All Eastern Africa
  24. Technovera – Pelebox Smart Lockers
  25. Tibu Health
  26. UltraTeb
  27. Waspito
  28. WellaHealth
  29. Welo

Access to Markets Event in Nairobi: Driving Innovation Forward

Innovators chosen for this program will have the opportunity to participate in i3’s annual Access to Markets event scheduled for November 14-15 in Nairobi. This event serves as a dynamic platform for partnership dialogues between key industry stakeholders, governments, donors, and large multilateral agencies. It aims to forge connections that drive the commercialization and scalability of start-ups through mutually beneficial contracts, pilot projects, and investments. The first cohort of 31 companies supported by i3 last year has already resulted in 24 contracts, pilots, and strategic partnerships to date.

Praise from Key Stakeholders

Kieran Daly, Director of Global Health Agencies and Funds at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed his enthusiasm for the i3 program, stating, “As countries and global health institutions work to expand access to priority products, we face an urgent need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems. Programs like i3 help us understand, support, and engage with technology-driven solutions emerging across Africa, hand-in-hand with our partners.”

Yusuf Rasool, Director of Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at MSD, added, “We are excited to have a second cohort of 29 innovative changemakers in African healthcare enter the program. Investing in these companies is a means of delivering lifesaving solutions and empowering communities through access to critical medicines across the continent.”

Jason Dinger, Senior Vice President of Global Products and Solutions at Cencora, commended the diversity of startups selected, stating, “The range of startups selected for the second cohort reflects the breadth of talent and creativity in the African entrepreneurial landscape, and we look forward to witnessing the transformative impact of their solutions in the years to come.”

A Coordinated Effort for African Innovation

i3 is coordinated by Salient Advisory and SCIDaR and is operationalized by leading technology hubs across the continent: CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp AfriTech for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa, and Villgro Africa for East Africa.

For more information about the program and the innovative start-ups involved, please visit


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