Investing in Innovation (I3) Africa

5 Things You Should Know About the I3 Initiative

The Investing in Innovation (I3) in Africa initiative is a Pan-African consortium of sponsors, implementers, and coordinators that are working together to provide support over a period of two years to 60 African healthtech companies working in a field related to supply chain. 

Villgro Africa, as an incubator and impact investor that supports emerging healthcare businesses in Africa, will be providing incubation and investment readiness support to a group of the beneficiaries based in East Africa. Our multidisciplinary team has deep sector expertise in the startup space, spanning business and product development to manufacturing and financial modeling. We are excited to play an important role in this initiative. 

Investing in Innovation

Interested in learning more? Here are five important things to know about the I3 initiative. 

1. Based on Research

In June 2022, Salient Advisory launched a market intelligence report on healthtech companies working in supply chain titled “Innovations in Digitising Distribution of Health Products,” which looked at innovators in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria. As a direct result of this report’s findings and inspired by the potential of the featured companies, the I3 initiative was created and is being led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Afreximbank, AUDA-NEPAD and AmerisourceBergen

2. Bringing Healthcare Closer to Those Who Need It

Currently, there are significant inefficiencies in the African medical supply chain. These were emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic, but existed long before and have a significant impact on the accessibility and affordability of healthcare, especially for those in rural or hard-to-reach areas. 

The purpose of this initiative is to support organizations that are leveraging technology in order to bring healthcare closer to the people who need it. This includes businesses that improve the availability, affordability and quality of health products as well as those that improve supply chain efficiencies when it comes to the tracking of product movement, consumption and/or demand. 

3. For Africans by Africans

This program is designed to enhance, accelerate and strengthen innovations that are already taking place on the continent. This initiative will support interventions that are created by Africans for Africans.

4. Support Provided to Investing in Innovation Beneficiaries

Companies that are chosen to participate in the cohort will receive three types of benefits: (1) access to markets, connecting innovators to opportunities for partnerships, contracts, and further investment; (2) risk-tolerant finance in the form of $50,000 in grant funding; and (3) investment readiness support from innovation experts including CCHub, Startupbootcamp, AfriTech, IMPACT Lab, as well as our team at Villgro Africa

5. Who Can Apply

Investing in Innovation

The I3 call is looking for African entrepreneurs who are over 18 years of age, whose business has a legal presence on the African continent and is designed to serve African customers. The business must be for-profit, either early stage or growth stage, and offer data-driven products or services that are improving the distribution of healthcare products. Only companies with good governance, plans to attract further investment and the potential for long-term sustainability will be selected for the program. 

For more about the program, including details on eligibility requirements as well as the application, watch the video below and/or click here.