Through its various programs and initiatives Drive Africa provides Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs with services and connections designed to enable them to build companies which are going to become regional and pan African players. Drive Africa creates ecosystems which crowd in capital, advisory resources, technical assistance, access to market opportunities, and opportunities to forge connections with corporates and other partners.

Drive Africa provides support in a variety of areas including:

  • Supporting company teams in building their capabilities for innovation, growth, and investment readiness.

  • Developing the operational, finance, strategic, governance, and marketing capabilities of companies and building their abilities to absorb follow on investments to achieve long term growth milestones.

  • Bridging the gap between applied research and product development, bringing together corporates, universities, research institutes, and investors to co-invest in African technology startups and SMEs deploying emerging technologies.

  • Connecting innovative and growth oriented growing companies in Africa to innovative risk and growth capital.

  • Providing a platform for companies to access new markets, supply chain partnerships, and export market opportunities.

  • Supporting African innovators in acquiring the technical skills required to develop and deploy new technologies and process improvements in their businesses.

  • Mobilizing technical assistance for high potential technologies and their adoption within African companies.


We work with pioneering African companies which meet the following criteria:

Commercial and Development impact: potential for sustained commercial viability and development impact.

Strong Teams: company teams must be multi-disciplinary and diverse in terms of technical background, industry, and education. Two to four founders or management level team members are required to be available to work in the accelerator program.

Growth Mindset: companies and teams must demonstrate ambition for growth.

Clear Value Proposition: businesses must have a clear value proposition and innovative solution.

Addressable Markets: companies will have an innovative business model targeting large addressable markets.

Triple Bottom Line Approach: the companies will have a triple bottom line approach with which they will seek to impact people, profits, and environment.

Inclusive Businesses: the accelerator will also focus on businesses which provide services and products targeted at BoP consumers, producers, and employees, integrating them as part of the value chain as suppliers, distributors, retailers or customers. Additionally, the accelerator will also seek to work with companies with an intent to contribute to the attainment of the SDGs.

Validation to Growth Path: companies will have a demonstrated product-market fit with a clear path towards commercialization. Companies could also be piloting a technology in the market with its product having gone beyond ideation, is ready to scale, or expand to new market.

Application Process

To participate in our accelerator programs and labs starts ups and SMEs have to submit applications to the individual platforms. Applications are reviewed through a two-step application process made up of two judging rounds to ensure that the program builds a cohort of companies which aligns with the needs of investors and program requirements. Qualifying companies are invited to attend the accelerator.