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African tech talent touches down in London

TWENTY OF the most innovative and exciting development-focused startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa arrived in London today (Mar 25) to take part in the first Go Global Africa programme.

Go Global is a successful innovation scheme which supports startups to improve their business skills and capability, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector and work with UK expertise to take their firms to the next level.

The programme was started by the UK Israel Tech Hub and over the last four years it has helped develop new UK-Israel collaborations in the digital economy. According to the most recent report on its impact, the UK Israel Tech Hub has led 175 tech partnerships in deals worth £85 million.

Not only does the scheme help firms in the host country but it also plays a vital part in making links for UK startups in these new markets. And with young populations, five of the world’s fastest growing economies and a thirst for innovation, Africa is a continent alive with opportunity.

Digital Minister Margot James said: “It is fantastic to welcome these talented entrepreneurs to the UK. Africa is a vibrant and dynamic continent, with huge potential for growth, and the firms chosen for the first Go Global Africa programme see tech as a force for good in society.

“I’ve no doubt they have the talent to play a transformative role in their country’s growth while also building connections for UK startups in new markets and highlighting Britain as the place to develop new technology.”

The startups, selected from more than 400 applicants, are developing cutting-edge products and services in industries including fintech, healthcare, agritech and water management.

They will receive coaching from pitching experts Enterprise Academy, a public speaking masterclass, and advice on scaling up from PriceWaterHouseCoopers dedicated startup team and the Natwest Fintech Accelerator.

Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s first tech for good accelerator, will provide the startups with insights on how to launch and scale tech for good ventures and Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp will provide guidance on fundraising.

Following the programme the startups will receive ongoing support from the UK’s International Tech Hub Network, which now spans three continents and has seven hubs. They will act as Go Global champions and share the skills they have learned to mentor other firms in their countries. This will help spread digital skills, capability and entrepreneurial spirit to create jobs and prosperity.

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