Techstars 2023 Accelerator Invests $5 Million in Alumni-Led Startups

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Techstars 2023 Accelerator Invests $5 Million in Alumni-Led Startups

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Techstars 2023 Accelerator Invests $5 Million in Alumni-Led Startups

Swoove and One Plan, two Ashesi alumni-led startups, have been selected for the 2023 batch of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator, which will include twelve startups. Harold Awuah-Darko ’23 developed One Plan to assist workers in Africa’s informal economy in creating affordable financial plans, making it easy to start a retirement plan, get low-interest credit, and access health and life insurance coverage. Swoove, co-founded by Kevin Blankson ’19 and others Kwaku Tabiri, Kingsley Amponsah, Gloria Pascucci, and Robert Quainoo, enables logistics companies in emerging markets to digitise and scale their businesses through dispatch automation, fleet management, tracking and telematics, and a large delivery network.

Techstars will invest up to $120,000 in each firm during the 14-week immersion program, which the Accelerator describes as companies “changing Africa and the world by using technology, data, and intelligence to serve a population growing in size, youth, income, and digital access.” In addition, the initiative will provide the 2023 cohort with over $400,000 in cash equivalent hosting, accounting and legal assistance, and other perks totaling more than $5 million.

“We had always known Techstars as one of the programs we wanted to be a part of,” says Kevin, who was one of Ashesi’s Venture Incubator’s founding members. “We applied because we knew the program would give us a great opportunity to explore and grow in the Lagos market while giving us the credibility to finalize our early-stage funding round.” We are learning a lot about ourselves and what it takes to succeed as an African business.”

“We aim to improve the lives of Africans working in the informal sector by providing financial services,” adds Harold, describing One Plan’s goals. “A significant portion lacks retirement savings and credit access. Starting January 2024, One Plan will offer plans for building retirement funding that can be used as credit collateral, aiding business growth and securing post-work life. In addition to funding, Techstars enables this with mentorship and skill-building workshops, reinforcing the preparation I received at Ashesi.”

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