We are thrilled to report on the successful conclusion of the Vodacom Digital Acceleration Season 2 Demo Day event on 3rd March. The event was a resounding success, and we are proud to announce the winners of the second season of the digital accelerator program.
In his speech, Dr Amos Nungu, the director-general of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology and the Guest of Honor at the Demo Day Event, commended Vodacom Tanzania and Smartlab for their support of early-stage and growth-stage technology startups. He emphasized the need for more accelerators to reach more tech startups nationwide.
"It is very encouraging that we can see the ecosystem is moving forward...having occasions like this one shows that there is a commitment...today we have the Vodacom Tanzania and Smart Africa Group coming together to put up such a program for accelerating our startups. It is a very big step with impact to our ecosystem so I commend the initiative, and congratulations to Vodacom and Smart Africa Group Nissan." Mr. Amos Nungu
The event saw 12 participants pitch their tech-driven solutions in fintech, health, e-commerce, education, agriculture, and cybersecurity. After a rigorous pitching event and public voting process, the top three startups selected were BizyTech with their Kilimo Bando product, Smart Darasa, and Twenzao.
Dr Nguvu Kamando, Director General of Vodacom Tanzania, spoke at the Vodacom Digital Accelerator event, praising the importance of innovation in Tanzania and the need for more excellent connectivity. Vodacom is committed to empowering local startups to create solutions that are fit for the market, and the accelerator program aims to support the early stages of innovation and help them grow. The program has helped 12 startups so far, and the event showcased their achievements.
"We believe in the power of technology and innovation to transform lives and build a better future. Through the Vodacom Digital Accelerator, we are proud to support and nurture the next generation of African startups, empowering them to grow and thrive on a global stage," said Mr Nguvu Kamando, one of the organizers of the program.
The three winners from the Demo Day Event will receive equity-free funding, follow-on investment, access to M-PESA for business services, industry experts, training and tools, regulatory and compliance support, technology support, and go-to-market support for six months.
"With the umbrella of Vodacom as a brand through the trust which they have given us, we are going to have a lot of impactful solutions, and we have seen the previous season one of the Vodacom digital accelerator, which you all have seen the impact, and we are looking forward to seeing what it is today," said Mr Edwin, one of the organizers of the program.
Edwin thanked Vodacom for providing opportunities for startups to bring their ideas to the community and create jobs. He mentioned Vodacom's investment of over 200 million in marketing and strategic approaches, compliance, and embedding fintech startups with M-Pesa. He expressed confidence in the impact of the startups under Vodacom's umbrella and highlighted the success of the previous Vodacom Digital Accelerator program.
Mr Philip Besiimire, the Managing Director of Vodacom and the event's Special guest, also highlighted the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in startup teams and their solutions. He encouraged the startups to be intentional about diversity in their teams and to consider how people with disabilities can use their solutions. Mr Philip emphasized that expanding inclusion and thinking about accessibility is essential to solving problems equitably and creating impactful solutions for all community members.
"I'd like to thank our judges for your generous time, guidance, pointed questions, and keeping participants on their toes. The team at Smart Labs, thank you so much for coordinating this and working very closely with us at Vodacom to pull this off."
We congratulate the winners and all the other startups who participated; they all presented great business ideas. The call to action for greater diversity, inclusivity and corporate support for initiatives like the Vodacom Digital Accelerator is critical to ensuring that more tech startups in Tanzania can be supported and empowered to create innovative solutions to society's challenges.
We are grateful to all the attendees and viewers who made the Vodacom Digital Acceleration Season 2 Demo Day event successful. We urge other corporations to ideate and support similar initiatives, as there is a need to bring in more startups that require acceleration.
The Vodacom Digital Accelerator Program Season 2 has been a great success, with 12 startups from various sectors receiving assistance to grow their businesses. The Demo Day event on March 3 culminated in the announcement of the three winners, Bizytech, Smart Darasa, and Twenzao, who impressed the judges with their innovative solutions in agri-fintech, ed-tech, and carpooling. The winners will now move on to the validation phase of the program, where they will receive further support. We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing the impact of their solutions in Tanzania and beyond.