Flapmax, Microsoft Launch Startup Accelerator to Boost Africa’s Digital Ecosystem

Microsoft, Flapmax, FAST, Africa

Flapmax has announced the company has teamed up with Microsoft to boost the digital ecosystem in Africa through launching a startup accelerator, FAST, a press release says.

According to a Tuesday (Feb. 8) press release, FAST will help companies building cloud tech and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled products, which will be used to help communities, businesses and governments in Africa.

FAST blends business development, tech integration, funding and community building opportunities that will enable African businesses to scale better. The release notes that program participants will work with Microsoft engineering team members on co-innovation projects, including product integrations and new offerings.

“At Flapmax our mission is to enrich the lives of everyone on the planet and make the world more sustainable, using accelerated AI technology,” Flapmax founder and CEO Dave Ojika said in the release. “We are proud to partner with Microsoft to make that dream a reality for startup founders committed to strengthening the digital ecosystem in Africa.

“Together, we can build an AI-enabled future that serves everyone, everywhere — improving industries from healthcare and education to agriculture and government services.”

Gerald Maithya, SME and startups lead: Africa Transformation Office at Microsoft, said that, “Africa is poised to become the next international technology hub,” adding that the FAST program “will provide direct investment in the technology leaders of tomorrow in the region, helping build key infrastructure that uses artificial intelligence as the basis for solutions development.”

Africa has been garnering more attention from big tech companies as of late, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai saying earlier this week that the continent is in the throes of a digital transformation, adding that it is a place “where innovation begins.”

See also: Google’s CEO: Africa on Brink of ‘Digital Transformation’

Speaking before the African Union Summit Business Forum, Pichai said mobile payment systems were first developed in Kenya and highlighted other advancements in the continent, such as renewable energy innovations.

He said Google is also working with African governments to develop new tech — the company has plans to invest $1 billion to support digital transformation in Africa.