Last year, Jack Ma - on his visit to Africa - made a commitment to “empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years” through the Alibaba eFounders Initiative. It is thus expected that 200 of these will come from Africa.
So far, three cohorts have run with around 80 entrepreneurs from Africa. The third cohort is coming to an end with 29 startups from Africa are concluding their two week's course.
The course is part of the Alibaba eFounders Fellowship Initiative. A partnership between Alibaba and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
According to PR Newswire, “Alibaba previously hosted the inaugural class of African entrepreneurs in November 2017 and Asian entrepreneurs in March 2018.”
In a conversation with Nielsimms Sangho, the founder of Intership, out of the 39 selected, only 29 made it to Hangzhou. And, out of the 29, only 3 are from Uganda. Here’s a quick profile about each one of them;
Xente’s mission is to allow individuals and businesses in Africa an opportunity to “participate in the global digital commerce ecosystem”. This they hope to do by “bringing African businesses online and allowing them to accept payments safely and securely from anywhere in the world.”
The company started out as a payments aggregator in 2012 called Intel World. Before launching a new product called Xente in January last year. In September 2017, the fintech company decided to re-brand from Intel World International Limited to Xente Tech Limited.
At the beginning of the year, the company raised an undisclosed amount of angel investment from both local and foreign angel investors. In 2015, it also participated in Startup Bootcamp where it is believed to have raised a "small" angel round.
Last year, it also participated in Growth Africa’s acceleration programme. Additionally, it was among the 12 startups that received nearly UGx. 13 Billion from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in April this year.
Xente, based at The Innovation Village in Ntinda, is being represented by its co-founder and COO Francis Nkurunungi.
Naguru-based Intership is an online shopping platform in Uganda. The startup lets one “Shop at millions of online shopping sites in the USA, UK, Dubai and China.”
This also includes “auction sites like Ebay.com” and other online stores like “Amazon, AliExpress, Victorias Secrets, Saks Fifth Avenue, and small independent retailers like Etsy.com.”
Founded in 2015, Intership won the 2015 Seedstars Kampala competition and proceeded to represent Uganda at the 2017 Seedstars World Summit in Switzerland. The startup is represented by Nielsimms Sangho, a co-founder.
RoundBob is an online travel agency. According to the startup, it has a “fully developed mobile app providing relevant travel options such as bookings, travel packages and destination marketing.”
Located in Bugolobi, RoundBob was founded in 2013. It also participated in Growth Africa’s 2016 accelerator program. The startup is represented by David Gonahasa, the Managing Director.