iHUB unveils new Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Cohorts

Representatives of twelve innovative EdTech start-ups pose for a photo in Nairobi after joining the second cohort of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship implemented jointly with iHUB Kenya. [Brian Ngugi, Standard]

Technology innovation firm, iHUB Kenya has announced 12 EdTech start-ups that have joined the second cohort of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship.

In a statement, iHUB Kenya said this year’s call for applications to the second cohort received diverse technologies and solutions from those seeking to improve access to quality education and enhance learning outcomes through technology-driven approaches.

The 12 fellows are Dals Learning Limited, Fundis App Ltd, Soma Siri Afrika, Uptyke, eKitabu Studios KSL, Kuze.ai, Ultratude Tech Ltd (Mzizi School ERP, SomaChat Services, NABU, Esoma Solutions, Kurasa and Recess. 

“We are enthusiastic about the potential of the selected start-ups to enhance the face of EdTech in the region. After the success of cohort in 2023, we are excited about the second cohort's potential to add to better education outcomes for learners in Kenya,” said Nissi Madu, Managing Partner at iHUB Kenya.

Over the course of the fellowship, the 12 selected start-ups will receive technical and advisory resources and mentorship, including access to courses on the science of learning and access to a global network to help scale their impact.

"Our partnership with tech hubs such as iHUB Kenya, has increased access to quality and relevant learning for Kenya’s and Africa’s underserved learners through home-grown technology-enabled solutions. The EdTech solutions by iHUB Kenya’s 2023 cohort reached 32,000 learners, and we look forward to greater impact this year,” said Joseph Nsengimana, Director of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

By supporting start-ups that leverage technology to address the most pressing educational challenges, iHUB aims to increase access to quality, relevant, and inclusive learning for all, especially young learners in underserved communities.

iHUB Kenya, which provides advisory support in investment, marketing, learning science, and product development, has a strong track record of facilitating impact on the EdTech sector through various initiatives. The fellows will also receive up to Sh13.3 million (US$100,000) in equity-free funding and post-program advisory support of up to 12 months.

Dals Learning Limited is a digital platform providing learners access to interactive, engaging, comprehensive, and approved digital educational content covering the entire primary school curriculum.

Fundis App Ltd, on the other hand, is on a mission to enhance the productivity of Africa’s artisans.

Through its comprehensive digital platform, Fundis enables artisans to document their work and portfolios, get assessed and graded, access continuous upskilling, and get certified/accredited for job matching.

Soma Siri Afrika offers an innovative educational product that combines psychology, AI, and analytics to transform learning experiences for children and youth across Africa while preparing them for success in the 21st century.

Uptyke fosters inclusivity for learners through its diverse range of accessible educational digital content for K-12 learners, designed to ensure inclusion for all.

eKitabu Studio KSL is an innovative and inclusive digital content solution that develops early-grade reading materials in Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) to help learners build communication and language skills and become literate.

Kuze.ai is an AI-enabled platform that provides learners with personalised learning experiences through its precision education infrastructure to drive accessibility, particularly in underserved areas.

On the other hand, Ultratude Tech Ltd (Mzizi School ERP) is bridging the gap between key educational stakeholders through a comprehensive school management system with a rich repository of digital learning content approved by KICD and accessible to parents, students, and teachers.

SomaChat Services a digital learning platform, transforming the learning experience for Kenyan students with its suite of AI-powered educational tools, accessible through WhatsApp.

NABU a digital content solution providing culturally relevant mother-tongue and curriculum-aligned learning resources, ensuring equitable access to quality educational resources for all learners.

Esoma Solutions an online learning platform that provides teachers and learners with digital learning materials to foster Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) through adaptive and personalized learning paths.

Kurasa a comprehensive and inclusive solution that enhances the teaching and learning experience in K-12 education through innovative tools that enable the delivery of competency-based education more effectively and efficiently.

Recess is an innovative solution revolutionizing school management through personalised educational content, fostering student engagement, and facilitating transparent communication between educators and parents.

Launched in 2023, the EdTech Fellowship programme, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is an acceleration program that provides industry support, scalability support, and funding to technology-driven education solutions that transform learning across Kenya and Africa.

It is designed to support EdTech companies across Africa that are addressing learning challenges across K-12, tertiary education, vocational training and out-of-school learning.

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