The Africa Innovation Platform, a suite of mentorship, education, and training programs created to support the development of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem by Qualcomm has been able to empower many promising early-stage startups in Africa, including Nigeria’s QuadLoop, which leverages e-waste for solar e-Lanterns and battery storage in Nigeria.
Other startups the programme has helped with innovative end-to-end systems solutions include
- Ecorich Solutions – patented organic composting in Kenya
- Fixbot – Vehicle diagnostics and inspection via OBD dongle in Nigeria
- Karaa – e-Bike tracking, charging, retrofit, and rentals in Uganda
- Maotronics Systems Limited – IOT-enabled precision agriculture in Nigeria
- Microfuse – Affordable plugin computers for the education sector in Uganda
- Neural Labs Africa Ltd – Deep learning and AI for healthcare diagnosis in Kenya
- OneTouch Diagnostics – Diabetes patch and monitoring system in Kenya
- SLS Energy – Recycled lead-cell battery storage banks in Rwanda
- SolarTaxi – Electric vehicle (EV) taxi and fleet management in Ghana
Also, the platform has provided resources and support for local universities, ten small-to-medium-sized startups, and grant participants. It exposes these groups to Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s engineers and its state-of-the-art capabilities suite for mobile platforms and technologies, including 4G, 5G, IoT, AI, and machine learning.
Qualcomm also announced several additional benefits to the Innovation Platform for this year’s participants. They are:
- Social Impact Funds from the Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ Initiative to help QMIA startups scale.
- Patent filing incentive fund, to help QMIA startups protect their inventions through patenting.
- QMIA 2024 program launch for mentoring 10 deep-tech startups in Africa.
Commenting on the programme, Alex Rogers, President, QTL & Global Affairs, Qualcomm Incorporated said: “With emerging technologies in 5G, AI, robotics, IoT, and multimedia, we are seeing a new era of invention. Through initiatives like the Qualcomm Innovation Platform, we enable companies worldwide to build on our foundational technologies and join us in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.”
There is also the Qualcomm Africa University Relations Programme, which bolsters the research and educational capabilities of select African universities, research labs, and students by enhancing engineering curriculum and providing training on technologies such as Extended Reality, Robotics and AI/ML using Qualcomm platforms and developer kits.
Qualcomm Academy: Qualcomm’s education and training arm expanded its 5G University Training Program to students at select African universities and organizations, who received 5G training and certification from industry-leading engineers.
Meanwhile, applications for the 2024 Qualcomm Make in Africa startup mentorship program are now open. Details can be found here: https://www.qualcomm.com/company/locations/africa/qualcomm-make-in-africa