Via EMURGO’s $100 million Cardano ecosystem investment vehicle launched in October 2021, EMURGO set up two new entities, EMURGO Africa and EMURGO Ventures, to invest into promising startups in Africa and markets elsewhere, respectively.

Through EMURGO Africa, a strategic partnership was formed  with Adanian Labs - a successful pan-African venture studio and incubator that builds, nurtures, and incubates high potential tech startups - to drive societal adoption of and solutions building on Cardano’s blockchain.

In this blog, we will discuss the venture-building model and why Adanian Labs believes it is the right framework to successfully scale startups in Africa.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Africa - Will this time be different?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a new era of innovation in technology – one that’s enhancing human-machine relationships, unlocking new market opportunities, and fueling growth across the global economy.

This revolution that is characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological, and physical worlds, as well as the growing utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and advanced wireless technologies, among others, has ushered in a new era of economic disruption.

The question now on some minds is:

“Being that Africa has been left behind during the past industrial revolutions. Will this time be different?”

EMURGO Africa and Adanian Labs believe that the 4th Industrial Revolution has the potential to transform Africa in ways that will more than cover for what was missed out on in the past revolutions.

This 4th Industrial Revolution has the potential to leapfrog Africa into a developed economy.

But, there must be a strategic approach on how to capitalize on these opportunities.

Using the Venture-Building Model to Scale African Startups

Without attempts to move beyond existing models of innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital growth on the continent, African businesses risk falling further behind, exacerbating the global “digital divide” and lowering their global competitiveness.

Adanian Labs understands this potential very well, and thus have established their own customized venture-building model as a solution to accelerate the technology revolution for Africa.

The venture-building model addresses key things including:

- Providing the tech skills and education necessary to build and increase the local talent pool that is needed to build in-demand solutions and services

- Investing in tech entrepreneurs and giving 360 support in helping to scale their businesses

- Equipping leaders with technical knowledge on how to take part in the digital transformation to build solutions that are in market demand

- Targeting in-demand solutions that digitize communities to spur mainstream adoption of a digital economy

- Supporting influential policymakers and decision makers with the right education and information needed to ensure proper policies and local business environments are created for innovation to thrive

About Adanian Labs’ 2022 Cohort Venture Building Program

The second season of Adanian Labs’ 2022 Cohort Venture Building Program is starting soon, and innovative startups that are leveraging or looking to leverage smart technologies like blockchain and AI have been shortlisted with the final selection due to take place at the end of February.

However, they are always looking for interesting projects year-round, so please directly apply at the link here.

This program lasts for 12 months and rolls across Africa in countries including: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria and South Africa.

It is carefully designed with monthly KPIs under support and supervision that includes:

- Fine-tuning the tech solution using relevant technology like AI and blockchain

- Building and providing an expert support team for the startups

- Helping startups pitch to investors and connecting them to a wide investor network

- Guiding startups with go-to-market strategies and growth support

Upon graduation from the Adanian Labs program, the startups would ideally have launched a product, onboarded consumers, unlocked their revenue models, closed, or are closing seed deals with investors.

Adanian Labs will continue to support the startups with their governance structures to help them further grow and raise their series A and B funding rounds.

Since Adanian Labs’ establishment in January 2020, they have invested in and built 15 startups and have a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria and South Africa.

Some of the start-ups that have participated in Adanian Labs’ programs include:

- Afya Rekod - a consumer driven digital health data platform

- Phema Agri - an agriculture crowdfunding platform

- Paylend - an SME credit lending solution

and others such as Twaa, eCobba, Reward Adz, and Ada Animation.

Connect with EMURGO Africa/Apply Directly for Adanian Labs’ Startup Venture-Building Program

EMURGO and its portfolio companies are always looking for talented and motivated people to join the team, or collaborate with.

EMURGO Africa’s mission is to invest in promising startups in Africa focused on building socially impactful solutions, and there are many ways to be a part of it.

If you feel you have something to contribute, contact us africa@emurgo.io

For those interested in applying directly to Adanian Labs for their startup venture-building program, please apply here.

While the selection process is already underway, Adanian Labs is also always looking for interesting projects.

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