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Gates Foundation to fund 29 African healthcare supply chain startups

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has selected 29 African healthcare supply chain startups to receive funding as part of its Innovation Africa (i3) pan-African initiative for startups building the future of healthcare supply chains.

The investment initiative, which is in its second cohort, is jointly funded by Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD), Microsoft, and Chemonics, while i3 is dedicated to facilitating the commercialization of promising early- and growth-stage companies, according to the Foundation in a statement on Monday.

According to Kieran Daly, Director, Global Health Agencies and Funds at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the selected startups will receive introduction to leading potential customers in the industry, donor agencies and governments, a $50,000 grant, and tailored investment readiness support from leading accelerators, Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, Startupbootcamp Afritech, and CcHUB.

“The 29 startups operate in 21 different African countries, delivering digitally-enabled healthcare supply chain solutions,” he said.

“As countries and global health institutions work to expand access to priority products, we face an urgent need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems,” he added.

“Programs like i3 help us understand, support and engage with technology-driven solutions emerging across Africa, hand-in-hand with our partners.

“Innovators are building online pharmacies and telemedicine firms, as well as inventory management services for pharmacies, clinics and hospitals, supply chain data analytics, product protection, product visibility and more. 38% of the companies selected are women-led and 17% are conducting operations in Francophone Africa.”

Daly added that innovators selected will benefit from the i3’s annual Access to Markets event in Nairobi, which will be held between 14-15 of November.

“The event facilitates dynamic partnership dialogues between industry stakeholders, governments, donors, and large multilateral agencies.”

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Egypt’s Venture Capital firm Glint announces completing close of $3m fund

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Egyptian Venture Capital firm, Glint, has announved completing the first close of its second venture fund, which will invest in early-stage startups at $3 million.

The announcement which was contained in a statement, notes that Glint, a boutique management consulting and investment firm, which since its establishment six years ago has helped build businesses such as Darwinz.ai, has also helped in building companies like Iqraaly, Wasla, Kashier and Filkhedma.

The close of the fund was anchored by Wadi Degla Group. Glint Fund II was led by Tarek Aboualam and Youssef Helmy Habib, and will empower Egyptian entrepreneurs with investment opportunities in the early stages, the statement said.

It added that with tickets ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, it will focus on supporting startups through its proprietary venture studio model.

Glint’s second fund represents an important step to further develop our ecosystem designed to support Egyptian tech-based startups looking to penetrate the regional and international markets,” said Aboualam.

“Glint’s Venture Studio model is designed to provide much more than just capital; it provides an integrated platform offering business, operational and technical support as well as access to the regional market.

“We are thrilled to start working with our new LPs as well as continue working with our returning investors,” he added.

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MTN Foundation announces 2024 scholarship for Nigerian students

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MTN Nigeria Foundation has announced its 2024 scholarship for Nigerian students to support their education and empower the next generation of leaders.

A statement by the Foundation states that the amount for the annual award has also been increased from N200,000 to N300,000 for eligible students.

“The scholarships are in three categories which include the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship (MTN STS), the MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (MTN SBS), and the Top 10 UTME Scholarship,” the statement said.

“MTN Foundation in 2010, established the MTN Scholarships Program, an annual award that recognizes and rewards eligible high-performing students in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions in 3 categories:

MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (MTN SBS) since 2012 has been targeted at eligible 200 and 300-level blind students studying any course in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education).

“Starting in 2024, the number of blind students to receive scholarships has increased from 60 to 100. The annual award amount also increased from N200,000 to N300,000 and will be awarded until graduation if grade requirements are met.

“Top 10 UTME Scholarship since 2020, the top 10 scoring candidates of UTME as announced by JAMB, automatically qualify for the top 10 UTME scholarship.

“The candidates are awarded scholarships from their 100 level through to graduation upon meeting grade requirements.

“The Top 10 UTME Scholarship is awarded irrespective of the successful candidates’ preferred course of study or Tertiary Institution – Public or Private in Nigeria.”

According to the statement, the MTN Science and Technology Scholarship is open to 300-level students studying Science and Technology-related courses in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education).

“The MTN Scholarship for Blind Students is open to 200 and 300-level blind students studying any course in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education).

“STEM Students in Public Universities and Colleges of Education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score of 3.0/4 or 3.5/5 (second class upper credit).

“STEM Students in Public Polytechnics must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (upper credit) from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) Program and must have secured admission into the Higher National Diploma (HND) Program.

“Direct Entry level STEM students must have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 (upper credit) from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) program and must have secured admission into 300 level/3rd year in a Public University.

“MTN Scholarship for Blind Students (SBS): Blind Students in the Universities or Colleges of Education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5.

“Blind students in public Polytechnics must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0 from the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) Program and must have secured admission into the Higher National Diploma (HND) program,” the statement added.

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