Villgro Kenya, an impact investor, and business incubator has awarded $20,000 each to three innovative health startups based in East Africa.
The three early-stage, hardware-based health innovations include A-lite a non-invasive neonatal vein locater, Kijenzi 3D printing service for medical replacements and Wekebere a prenatal diagnostic device – these innovations were selected from a list of 38 applicants.
Villgro Kenya will offer financial support, high-touch mentorship through a structured program, access to networks of healthcare and product development experts and connections to investors and strategic partners.
"With the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution in healthcare, hardware innovations continue to show great great potential in driving UHC ini Africa. Their ability to provide access to quality healthcare services to the underserved continues to front them as good invesments for health impact in Africa. We are happy to partner with all these organizations we hope to support their innovations on their journey to scale." Dr. Robert Karanja CEO Villgro Kenya.
Wekebere is a Ugandan-based social enterprise that combines connected devices with data analytics to increase access to care, provide personalized feedback to mothers, and help doctors earlier predict and manage pregnancy complications in low resource settings.
Kijenzi Kenya has developed a 3D printing service that ensures health centers in low-income communities are able to produce medical equipment replacement parts when they need it. This helps reduce procurement timelines and increases efficiency and access to care while delivering quality at a lower cost.
A-lite is a Ugandan startup that has developed a low cost, non-invasive vein locater that aims to decrease the risk of tissue death, increased trauma while reducing the work burden of clinicians associated with locating barely visible veins among children.
"On behalf of A-Lite Uganda Limited, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Villgro Kenya for accepting to support our innovation. The $20,000 financial support means so much to us, and we are ready to utilize this grant to clinically test our product, refine our device’s technology so as to acquire relevant device approvals, and validate our business model. We believe that our innovation will have a huge impact in terms of addressing challenges with intravenous drug administration." said Julius Mubiru CEO of A-lite.