News & Updates

Africa Startups Pitch: TICAD7 Official Side Event

Aug 07, 2019

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) will host “African Startups Pitch” at PACIFICO Yokohama Exhibition Hall B on August 30, 2019, as an official side event of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) on August 28-30. Co-organized by JETRO, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this event aims to provide up-to-date information on African startups as potential new partners and investment opportunities for Japanese companies looking to expand into Africa.

Mobile apps are now a new social infrastructure in Africa, as seen for example with the rapid spread of mobile payment such as M-Pesa(1) . As a result, there is an increasing number of startups developing products and services targeting the previously difficult to access lower income sector of the market. JETRO is collaborating with Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), the largest accelerator in Nigeria, for the first time to organize a pitch event featuring 10 deep-tech startups selected from over 200 applications.

※(1)M-Pesa: Mobile payment service developed in 2007 by Safaricom, major communications operator in Kenya.

Featured companies and summary

  • Casky (Morocco): Casky has developed a road safety device for motorcycle drivers in light of the increase in motorcycle taxis in Morocco. The helmet-attached IoT device lights automatically when braking or turning and sends alerts by SMS to relatives registered via a mobile app in the event of an accident or emergency. The company aims to find ways of collaboration with Japanese companies such as to expand sales through the combined sale of motorcycles and helmets in cooperation with motorcycle manufacturers as well as to develop new insurance products in cooperation with insurance companies by learning from their expertise on insurance rates.
  • RelianceHMO (Nigeria): RelianceHMO offers low-price health insurance on a monthly basis in Nigeria, eliminating the need for annual premiums. The service enables users to consult a doctor via a mobile app and directs users to affiliated hospitals when specialty treatment is required.
  • CHIL AI (Uganda): CHIL AI provides cervical cancer screening services using AI.
  • LIFI-LED (Cote d'Ivoire): LIFI-LED uses LI-FI technology (Light fidelity - wireless optical communication based on LEDs) to deliver energy, connectivity and educational content to areas without communications infrastructure.

1. Outlines

Friday August 30, 2019 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
PACIFICO Yokohama Exhibition Hall B, Seminar Room B01
*Networking area with speakers will be set up separately in Seminar Room B07
Organized by:
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Co-organized by:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Nikkei Inc.
Seating capacity:
English-French-Japanese simultaneous interpretation

2. JETRO/CcHUB Session: Finding New Market Development Partners

[Morning session, Part 2] Friday, August 30, 2019 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Pitch event by startups selected by Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), partner of JETRO
Companies visiting Japan:
10 companies from seven countries, participating in “CcHUB Pitch Drive Asia”
Companies visiting Japan :10 companies from seven countries DetailsPDFファイル(14.7MB)
Country Company name Industry/service Appendix page
Nigeria Gricd Mobile cold storage solutions (“GRICD Friji”) for transporting vital products such as vaccines to areas lacking power or logistics infrastructure. 9
RelianceHMO Monthly health insurance for those who are otherwise unable to access health insurance. Users can consult a doctor via their cellphone or mobile device. 16
Taeillo Furniture designer and manufacturer. Uses AR technology to provide furniture arrangement scenarios prior to purchase for customers uncertain about buying furniture online. 12
Kenya Access Afya Uses a “clinic in a box” model to increase access to primary health care, providing services such as vaccination and first aid. 10
Flare A membership-based app offering search and scrambling services for ambulances in areas without emergency cover. 14
Uganda CHIL AI Provides cervical cancer screening services using AI via a chat-based mobile app. 11
Rwanda AC Group Provides “Tap & Go” contactless payment systems and wi-fi on public buses in Kigali. 8
Cote d'Ivoire LIFI-LED Uses LI-FI technology to deliver energy and connectivity to areas without a communications infrastructure. 15
Tunisia Enova Robotics Developer of Africa's first proprietary AI-equipped robots for services such as security surveillance or nursing care. 13
Morocco Casky Supplies helmet-attached IoT safety devices for motorbike drivers. Notifies relatives via a cellphone app in case of accidents or emergencies. 7

3. JICA/UNDP Session: Innovation for SDGs

(1) African Startups Pitch

[Morning session, Part 1] Friday, August 30, 2019 9:30 am - 10:50 am
Pitch session by African startups selected from around 500 applicants

Seven tech-startups selected from African countries will showcase their innovative business cases with proven potential of business scalability and impact in contributing to sustainable development goals (SDGs).

(2) Japan Startups Pitch

[Afternoon session] Friday, August 30, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Pitch session by selected Japanese startups endeavoring to enter the African market

Seven tech-startups selected through a domestic application process in Japan which have engaged or are eager to engage in Africa will showcase their innovative business models with proven potential for business scalability and contributing to SDGs.

The morning and afternoon sessions will feature a broad range of insight and advice from experts and venture capitalists who are familiar with social entrepreneurship and the African market. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the possibilities of the African market and to get a sense of flourishing and innovative business in Africa with “leapfrogging” potential.

Ms. Yabunaka, Ms. Izumi, Ms. Baba
Industry and Business Development Support Division
Tel: 03-3582-5170