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Five Kenyan startups shine at JICA’s NINJA Accelerator second demo day


Shamba Pride, Saada Tech, Kijenzi, M-Paya Energy, and MyMovies.Africa are the five startups that shined during the second Demo Day of the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya.

The accelerator is powered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented by Double Feather Partners (DFP), Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support (DTVS), Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory (DTFA), and GrowthAfrica. 

Samuel Mugunti, CEO of Shamba Pride, demonstrated how his “Digishops” were transforming the provision of agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers, while John Gershenson, CEO of Kijenzi, showed how his 3D printing hubs address the lack of spare parts needed to save essential equipment. Gerishon Mwaniki, Co-Founder of Saada Tech, presented Flo, a platform that allows for affordable digitization of customer engagement and transactions for small businesses, and Trushna Jayesh Buddhdev-Patel, Co-Foudner of MyMovies.Africa, introduced an on-demand video service meant to promote local movie creators while tackling the issues of piracy and lack of theatres. Finally, Mwai Mworia, CEO of M-Paya Energy, explained how they are helping building owners and tenants better bill/monitor energy consumption through smart metering.  

These five startups make up the 2nd cohort of the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya which underwent an intensive 12-week program that focused on strengthening foundations for scaling and investor preparedness. They now join Sokowatch, Kwara, Amitruck, ZanaAfrica, and Cinch Markets as alumni of the Japan-led initiative targeting entrepreneurs as a lever for development. 

Furthermore, from February 2nd to 4th, 2022, the JICA NINJA Accelerator will be sending a 20-member delegation to San Franciscorep as part of the “Silicon Valley Olympiad”, a three-day training program developed and delivered in collaboration with 500 Global. The goal is to provide inspiration, learning, and networking opportunities not only to startup founders, but also ecosystem builders in Africa. The delegation will be comprised on NINJA Accelerator alumni from Kenya and Nigeria, including Lifestores Healthcare, Emergency Response Africa, MyClinic Healthcare Solutions Nigeria Limited, Experis Immersive, in addition to other representatives from both countries, as well as Ethiopia and Ghana. 

Day 1 the Olympiad will consist in key site visits alongside established ecosystem players, followed by physical and virtual workshops, mentorship sessions with renowned startups and experts from Silicon Valley on Day 2. On Day 3, (February 4, 2022), a virtual event will be organized and broadcasted live from San Francisco, featuring several guest speakers and pitches from NINJA Accelerator alumni. 

”As our second cohort in Kenya comes to a close, we will continue to actively pursue Project NINJA’s objective to support entrepreneurs for socio-economic developement in Africa by connecting our startups and ecosystem players from various parts of the African continent and the world. We believe that peer-to-peer learning can further amplify the positive effects of our growing number of programs”, said Shingo Morihata, Senior Director –  Private Sector Development Group, Economic Development Department at JICA. 

”We are so proud of our 2nd cohort and how they effectively represented African opportunity on this Demo Day. We want investors and corporates to engage more deeply with startups of all stages in Africa, and we will continue to find ways to carry their stories across borders with programs such as the Silicon Valley Olympiad”, said Kohei Muto, CEO of Tokyo-based international VC Double Feather Partners, leading the consortium in charge of the NINJA Accelerator in Kenya.

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