Three firms selected for BOOST UP series

By Business Reporter

THREE Namibian national finalists have been selected to take part in the international BOOST UP start-up competition and online incubator.

BOOST UP is a programme aimed at supporting early stage start-ups that use technology to solve societal challenges in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Locally, the BOOST UP Programme is supported by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2), with assistance from Namibian Connected Hubs network members the Namibia Business Innovation Institute, GEN Namibia, Dololo and the UNDP Accelerator Lab.

The first selected company was Agelvipa, an online store that creates a market for women-led microbusinesses and start-ups and provides access to capacity building programmes for the less fortunate women who might not be able to afford training by allowing women to sell their products on the online store.

The second selected company was Possible Investments CC which runs Connect-Africa, a one stop shop app for all hearing and visually impaired people in Africa and the international community. The app supports all hearing and visual impaired to independently access different services such as business seminars, health, education, banking and other services just with a click of a button.

The hearing impaired can attend workshops without sign language interpreters.

The last participant selected was Unique Empowerment and Employment Initiative Foundation which runs Coachpedia, a digital education platform that will enable users to access qualified and experienced mentors, educators, and information in different languages.

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The BOOST UP programme is divided into three phases.

The Set Up training which provides entrepreneurs with practical tools to package their business idea and develop a pitch to attract their target market. After the training, selected committed startups that are eager to make an impact, have a scalable business model and want to become more investable compete in the Scale Up national pitch competitions in their base countries.

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The Set Up trainings and Scale Up competitions are organised separately in each of the BOOST UP country by SAIS 2 and the Connected Hubs. The top startups in each Scale Up competition then proceed to the Scale Up online incubator and pitch final, where they will compete against each other to be selected for the BOOST UP 2020 award.

Namibia’s Scale Up competition took place on August 21. Following an intense competition of three-minute pitches to a team of seasoned judges from the Connected Hub network, the three promising start-ups were selected to represent Namibia.