Innovations in Healthcare Accelerator (IHA)

Innovations in Healthcare Accelerator (IHA) in Africa’s Great Lakes 

The Problem

With Covid-19 pandemic raging across the world and wreaking havoc on economic activities and livelihoods in virtually every country, there is an immediate and urgent need to strengthen healthcare systems and spur innovations.  The entire world was utterly unprepared for this pandemic and the impact will be felt in every corner of the world. But the effects on already overstretched healthcare systems and overcrowded cities in Africa will be even more pronounced and severe.

Access to basic healthcare services and medicines, for instance, remains a challenge in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The prevalence of counterfeit drugs in some markets, worker shortages in others and the overall limited technology tools hinder under-served communities from accessing quality healthcare.

The Solution

Innovations in Healthcare Accelerator (IHA) aims at identifying, convening, supporting, connecting and accelerating home-grown healthcare innovations and innovators in Africa’s Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, D.R. Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi). Our goal is to enable the most promising innovations – ranging from early detection systems for outbreaks to virtual hospital services for non-emergency cases to online booking systems to innovative medicine and medical supplies procurement – to collaborate and receive adequate support from advisors, experts and investors to grow their operations.

Jenga Ventures will run a bespoke, problem-centric accelerator for
impact-driven innovations and innovators solving pressing healthcare challenges in the region. We’ll select a small group of about 4 – 8 healthcare innovations run by highly ambitious founding teams, and spend time and money to help them accelerate their growth and impact.

We’ll devise a tailored acceleration plan fit for each innovation team. Over a 6-month period, each innovation team will go through a transformative journey of problem-based learning, tailored support from industry experts and practitioners, and access to a network of advisors and investors.

                                                                         The Process

What Selected Innovations/ventures Will Receive:  

6-Month Bespoke Acceleration Program: We’ll identify each startup’s top challenges and mobilize an experienced expert team to help tackle them through our network of experts and advisors. Our Accelerator prides itself for being problem-centric, focusing on solving real-world problems rather than giving classroom-style lectures or one-size-fits-all training programs. 

Access to Investors: we’ll provide access to investors and capital to the most promising startups in the program, focusing on an essential but unfulfilled financing gap that exists for early-stage impact startups: long-term seed capital of small deal sizes. 

 Jenga Academy: Beyond the 6-month acceleration program, Jenga Academy will bridge skills gaps for our entrepreneurs. We’ll offer our entrepreneurs and/or their teams a curated set of world’s class practical training programs to improve skills and management practices over the long term.

Community: we’re building a community of impact-driven entrepreneurs and doers in the region, who are not afraid of tackling big challenges and are excited about cross border, peer collaboration for a collective better future. We bring along connections to industry leaders, experts and investors.

Startup Selection Criteria

IHA will select innovations in the healthcare sector based on five main criteria:

Social Impact: Innovations with built-in social impact in their DNA, providing solutions that improve lives. We define an impact innovation as any business whose mission either increases opportunities for the poor or provides them with essential products/services such as access to healthcare.

Good Management: A leader or leadership team with skills, passion and determination to execute a business strategy and meet or exceed expansion goals during and after our partnership.

Strong Business Model: A market opportunity that serves low-income communities, a good product/service and early revenue to prove it

Early-Stage: Innovations in their early stages but with products or services in the market, and early revenue-generating customers.

Potential to Scale: An innovation that is scalable across the country and/or region and has the potential to reach and impact 30K end-users/customers within a 3 years period.

Accelerator Timeline

Applications Open: June 1, 2020

Applications Close: July 15, 2020

Application Review and Selection: July 15 – August 14, 2020

Accelerator Begins: August 15, 2020

Accelerator Concludes: February 15, 2021 

Jenga Ventures