Five startups graduated from a four-month business development program ran by Orbit Innovation Hub under the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative. Each startup received a grant of $5000.
The startups were: Medket, Tena, Gebeta, Temaribet, and New Era Research and Development (NERD).
The first two—MedKet and Tena—are developing health-focused innovations. The first cohort graduated 15 entrepreneurs. The Orbit Innovation Hub (OHI)’s program is one of the only health inclined incubation hubs primarily aimed at targeting entrepreneurs in the health sector.
Under the four-month program, the start-ups received a range of support, including training, expert consultation, legal and administrative support, mentorship, coaching on technical and soft skills. They also received seed funding and will continue to gain support from Orbit Innovation Hub post-graduation.
“Across the country, there are entrepreneurs who are solving critical challenges that affect our lives, communities, and economies. And, in the process, they are creating opportunities for young people. This is a critical demonstration of the power of entrepreneurship—and the Foundation is committed to enabling the full potential of business to drive transformation and create work,” said Alemayehu Konde, Country Head, Mastercard Foundation
Tena, a healthcare technology startup, aims to provide a web and mobile app platform where parents can get medical consultations for their children with doctors virtually, irrespective of their geographical location.
MedkET provides a digital scheduling platform that helps healthcare institutions to efficiently and effectively allocate tasks to their employees. This platform minimizes the bureaucratic redundancy and subsequent inaccuracy so that healthcare professionals can fully dedicate their time to their patients which improves the quality of care.
Temaribet, an education technology startup, aims to make learning fun for students. It provides a platform where students could gain access to lectures in four languages: English, Amharic, Afaan Oromo, and Tigrigna.
Gebeta is an online food and beverage ordering and delivery platform that brings restaurants and clients together by enabling clients to order from anywhere. Gebeta was founded by university students, who experienced challenges getting food amidst classes and study.
New Era Research and Development or NERD is a private research and education center driven to impact Ethiopian youth to engage in science and technology to impact their communities through innovation.
“The program was an eye-opener for me. I learned a lot about what it takes to start and sustain a business. I am grateful for the opportunity,” Noted Medhin Getaneh (Dr.), Co-founder and CEO, Medket.
“The program was extremely helpful and very interesting. I learned various skills starting from how to pitch, to identifying customers for our startups and how to record history. Our business is now set up for success and we felt very supported,” Said Natnael Guchima – Co-Founder of Temaribet.
The Orbit Innovation Hub is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation with the aim of incubating 15 companies and subsequently creating 200 jobs during its pilot program.
“We are happy to see the startups achieve this milestone. They have all worked hard during this program and have progressed tremendously in terms of business skills and knowledge. We are sure they will do well once they enter the market and solve the long-standing socio-economic problems of Ethiopia. After the program, participants will be given seed funding to complete their products and services after which they will enter the market with the assistance of Orbit Innovation Hub. They will further be linked with financial institutions and investors progressively to enhance their growth and subsequent job creation potential,” Said Girum Habtewold, COO of Orbit Health