From May 9th  to 13th  2022, Startup Africa Roadshow is bringing the leaders of African innovation to Italy
21 April 2022


Milan, April 19, 2022 – For the first time, the winning teams of “Next Generation Africa,” a program promoted by the BeEntrepreneurs association and the Italian Embassy in Uganda, are in Italy.

A week designed to build bridges between innovation ecosystems. From May 9 to 13, the Startup Africa Roadshow is set to welcome in Italy the best entrepreneurial talents from Uganda, shortlisted during the Tech Week of “Next Generation Africa” held in the Ugandan capital Kampala at the end of 2021. The project, managed by the Beentrepreneurs APS association, continues to support the growth of the most promising entrepreneurial teams from the “Silicon Savannah,” the innovation ecosystem composed of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, which in recent years has seen increasing dynamism with the presence of more than 100 tech hubs (including incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces) and more than 700 million dollars of investments attracted by startups (Partech, 2021 report).

The wave of innovation that started in Kenya and is sweeping across East Africa has led to entrepreneurial bets like the 21 companies that the volunteers of the Beentrepreneurs association trained during “Next Generation Africa,” held in November 2021 following a call for startups that gathered over 300 applications. It was an intense week of training by Italian volunteers, including mentoring sessions, how to pitch, “go to market” strategies, business modeling, and fundraising techniques. The training culminated in a demo day, where an independent jury awarded the best teams.

Among them is Kimuli Fashionability, a Ugandan social impact startup that combines the challenge of recycling plastic waste with the support of 102 collaborators with disabilities. The project, launched by the young entrepreneur Juliet Namujju, a 25-year-old seamstress, arrives in Italy following her victory at “Next Generation Africa” along with other startups that made it to the top: Phy2App, an app which simplifies transactions between local agricultural producers and potential end customers; and Zofi Cash, a payment platform that allows employees to obtain an advance on their monthly salary, a widespread need in Uganda. Finally, it’s worth mentioning the team that won the special prize for sustainability, Marula Proteen, which transforms organic waste in Kampala into high-nutrient-value fertilizer through a biological process using insects, following the circular economy model.

They will be joined by some of the key players of the 2019 edition of Kampala Tech Week, whose Italian experience, scheduled for spring 2020, was postponed due to the outbreak of the pandemic: these include HerHealth, an all-female startup that develops health technology solutions to enable access to care in the most disadvantaged rural communities; and Gorilla Conservation Coffee, a project that contributes to the conservation of wildlife in Bwindi National Park while supporting local farmers.

And it is precisely this energy that the Startup Africa Roadshow will bring to Italy, with an intense program of stages between Milan and Turin marked by networking and training moments, field meetings with the most innovative experiences of our country, sessions of comparison with potential investors, and also a public event open to the innovation community.

The main event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 in Milan (limited seats, registration here), at the Cariplo Factory spaces in Base: an unmissable opportunity to get to know the entrepreneurial teams up close, but also for the presentation of the preview of the video report made by director Valerio Casale during the trip to Kampala of Startup Africa Roadtrip.

Launched in 2017 as the “Startup Africa Roadtrip” project, BeEntrepreneurs APS association’s flòagship program has grown over the years, becoming the reference point in promoting the meeting between the Italian and East African innovation ecosystems, with a track record that can boast 5 training programs resulting from as many calls for innovators fueled by a database of over 1500 startups, more than 80 entrepreneurial teams formed, and a network with more than 100 stakeholders.

Animating and supporting the projects of BeEntrepreneurs is a growing network of 40 young professionals who, sharing the vision of founders Andrea Censoni and Lorenzo D’Amelio, believe in innovation as a way to create intercultural bridges between Italy and Africa, discover new development opportunities, offering time, enthusiasm, and skills to create impact and shape the future.

“Startup Africa Roadtrip has reached its most complete realization,” emphasize Censoni and D’Amelio, co-founders of the initiative. “Two years after the first Roadshow, which was canceled due to the pandemic situation, our group is more united than ever. The motivation that drives us is given by an ambitious mission: to tell and bear witness that, precisely through innovation, new forms of international cooperation and collaboration between Europe and Africa are possible.”

Over the years, the association has been a catalyst for numerous realities that embrace this vision, building a network of important public and private partners, primarily the Italian Embassy in Uganda. “This year too, we have fully supported the ‘Startup Africa Roadtrip’ project aimed at Ugandan startups and innovators,” says Ambassador Massimiliano Mazzanti. “Training, innovation, and international partnerships are crucial to face the challenges of the future, especially in a young country like Uganda. The collaboration between young Italians and Ugandans within the project strengthens mutual knowledge and the historic friendship that binds our countries.”

The 2021/22 edition of “Next Generation Africa” took place with the significant support of Last Minute Foundation, Eni Joule, DHH, Uber. Also supporting the project are Innovazione per lo Sviluppo (a program of Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo), Primo Ventures, Fondazione AVSI, Cariplo Factory, Cisco, Startup Wise Guys, E4Impact, Talent Garden, and Startup Italia as a media partner.

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