Injini, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting education innovation in South Africa, has recently announced the first cohort of 12 edtech startups to participate in the inaugural Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship.
This fellowship is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), which partners with technology and innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa to support promising, growth-stage EdTech ventures with the potential for scale and impact.
Injini is part of an Africa-wide network of partners that are implementing the Mastercard Foundation Fellowship to support growth-stage EdTech startups as they seek to improve learning outcomes. Through this partnership, Injini is able to provide the selected startups with direct funding support worth over R1,000,000 (~ $540,000) in equity-free venture funding, product quality evaluation and certification, intensive skills development, coaching and mentorship, bespoke market research, and market access through Injini’s network of stakeholders across the education innovation landscape.
“We saw many promising applicants during the selection process for our Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program,” stated Krista Davidson, Executive Director of Injini. “It was not an easy process to narrow down the applicants from hundreds to these 12 Fellows, as there are many impressive EdTech solutions operating and making a real difference to learners across the country. We are confident that we will be able to work with each one individually to grow their impact and improve educational outcomes in South Africa.”
The selected startups are tackling a range of challenges in education, from early childhood development to career guidance, and using innovative technologies such as augmented reality, chat-based learning, and robotics to improve learning outcomes for students across South Africa. For example, Afrika Tikkun Bambanani is working to standardize the early childhood development curriculum and provide children with specialized educational tools, while Yenza is using psychometrics and intelligent design to guide individuals towards successful career pathways.
The startups that were selected include Afrika Tikkun Bambanani, Ambani Africa, BuzzKidz Buzz-in-a-Box (BIAB), Click Learning, Code4Kids, Digify Africa, FunDza Literacy Trust, Matric Live, Reflective Learning, Resolute Education, Yenza, and Zaio.
The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is a significant opportunity for these startups to access the resources, funding, and support they need to scale and make a lasting impact on education in South Africa. In its first year, the Fellowship supported 12 African EdTech companies from 7 countries, collectively reaching over 800,000 learners to date. The hope is that through partnerships like this one, innovative solutions will continue to emerge and transform education in Africa and beyond.