The Investing in Innovation (i3) program, now in its second year, is providing a vibrant platform for catalyzing groundbreaking solutions to Africa’s healthcare supply chain bottlenecks. This year, a fresh batch of 29 digital innovators joined the program, each with a unique approach to tackling these challenges.

The i3 program doesn’t just pick winners; it empowers them.  Innovators receive crucial support in two key areas: funding and market access.  This year, the program disbursed over $1 million in grants to twenty-nine (29) innovators, helping them acquire talent, purchase equipment, enhance software, and secure vital consulting services.  

However, funding is just one piece of the puzzle.  The i3 program’s flagship “Access to Markets” event in Nairobi brought innovators together with potential investors, facilitating over 180 introductions.  Additionally, partnerships with leading African accelerator programs provided tailored training and mentorship, sharpening the innovators’ investment pitches.

The results speak for themselves.  Innovators surpassed expectations, forging a staggering 45 partnerships – exceeding both program targets and year-one achievements. These partnerships, some with industry giants like Pfizer, Sanofi, and Axian, as well as a collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, all share a common goal:  improving access to health products and last-mile delivery. 

The program’s impact extends beyond healthcare. The creation of 300 jobs, with a noteworthy 36% filled by women, highlights the program’s positive social and economic contribution.  Further fueling investor confidence, ten startups within the cohort collectively raised $11.3 million in funding.  This entrepreneurial spirit is further reflected by the expansion of thirteen (13) startups  – three reaching international markets and ten expanding nationally.

The i3 program’s success in year two underscores the power of innovation to revolutionize Africa’s healthcare supply chain.  As the program sets its sights on the future, it remains dedicated to supporting these innovators, fostering sustainable change across the continent, and making a real difference here in Nigeria.