In Rwanda, 10 startups selected for Westerwelle entrepreneurship programme

Rwandan startups have joined an entrepreneurship programme

Ten Rwandan startups have been picked to join an entrepreneurship programme facilitated by the Westerwelle Startup Haus, an incubation center that was launched in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018.

According to Disrupt Africa, the programme is being run Westerwelle alongside the Make-IT in Africa initiative. Through this project, Rwandan startups are given access to quality infrastructure and tailor-made workshops to help them establish and grow their businesses.

The ten startups that were selected for the entrepreneurship programme, according to Disrupt Africa, are Creativity Lab, a hardware and robotics training initiative; Pack & Pick, online groceries platform; Gravity Studios, a graphic design startup; and FreshBox, which manufactures smart delivery boxes.

Others are Kigali Artisans Market, an events firm; reproductive health information platform Saye Company, horticulture startup CCE Business Group, digital marketing platform YoBrand, agri-training firm Impact Route, and irrigation equipment manufacturer Volta Irrigation.

The programme, Disrupt Africa reports, “targeted founders who have developed and tested an MVP and are now looking to take the next steps to build a sustainable business.”

The selected Rwandan startups will receive six-months membership subscription at the space plus access to workshops, networking events and mentoring sessions, according to Disrupt Africa.

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When it launched in Kigali last year, Westerwelle Startup Haus vowed to equip thousands of youth in the country with skills that will enable them to innovate and create their own jobs.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Michael Mronz, the Foundation chairman, said that the plan involves giving a home to people who are thinking to develop their own companies and give them a chance to establish their ventures as well as build capacities.

“We are convinced that the Startup Haus will become a central place for startups from Kigali and East Africa as well. We will be hosting events to transfer knowledge, as well as those focusing on how to finance ideas,” he said, adding that they will work to facilitate the startups to access capital from German investors.

The Foundation programme manager, Guido von Westerholt, said members of the Startup Haus will also receive training on machines like laser cutters, 3D printers, textile machines and electronic tools to work on hardware products and prototypes.

“In addition, we plan to add relevant business and maker workshops tailored to the needs of our members and the startup community. Business-related workshops will, for example, include financial management, product-market-fit, design thinking, prototyping, and lean startup methodology,” he explained.


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