Founders Factory Africa (FFA), a Johannesburg-based, corporate-backed technology accelerator and incubator, has struck a deal with healthcare provider Netcare Group to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to build and scale health-tech start-ups in Africa.
FFA’s accelerator programme develops existing businesses through a six-month programme, while the incubator plans to build brand new businesses focused on addressing key health issues on the continent.
Together, FFA and Netcare will support investee companies and deliver “innovative opportunities” in healthcare in South Africa and in selected areas on the African continent, the organisations said in a statement on Thursday.
Netcare and Standard Bank will also work together to cross-collaborate across fintech and health-tech opportunities. Standard Bank was the first large company to invest in Founders Factory Africa.
Netcare, which hasn’t disclosed how many it’s investing in the initiative, will provide access to hospitals, primary healthcare clinics and “healthcare value chains”, health technical expertise, data, and intellectual property to the identified start-ups. Netcare has the option to continue investing in the new health businesses once their value propositions are proven.
In addition to the corporate and hands-on support from FFA, the participating start-ups will have access to global capital, talent and knowledge transfer through the Founders’ group that includes Founders Factory in the UK and a network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate entities and start-ups in Africa, Europe, the UK and the US.
Netcare Group CEO Richard Friedland said the initiative should help stimulate healthcare innovation and development in South Africa and in Africa more broadly. It will provide a support system for entrepreneurs, which will “help them grow innovative healthcare businesses and will provide value to people across Africa, while also unlocking future investment opportunities for Netcare”, he added.
FFA will help the start-ups cover all aspects needed to scale their businesses, including product development, user experience, engineering, investment, business development and growth marketing.
Launched in 2018, FFA is focused on building and scaling 140 technology start-ups across Africa over the next five years. It creates eight new start-ups a year, while its accelerator programme invests in 35 start-ups annually.
Founders Factory was established by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox in 2015. Their experience covers co-founding and selling lastminute.com for over US$1-billion, co-founding Made.com, creating Founders Forum and investing in start-ups such as OneFineStay, GetYourGuide, Alan Health and Onfido.
Investors include L’Oreal, easyJet, Aviva, CSC, GMG, M&S and Holtzbrinck. To date, the organisation has invested in 90 start-ups and created a further 30 start-ups from scratch.
African health-tech start-ups can apply to join the Founders Factory accelerator programme, and entrepreneurs can apply for the incubator to build a new concept from scratch.
This article was published with the permission of TechCentral. The original publication can be found here.