Ugandan and Korean startup entrepreneurs talk at trade show
Government minister speaks with entrepreneur at expo
8 June 2023
ITC News

Ten outstanding entrepreneurs who graduated from the Youth Startup Academy (YSA) Uganda recently participated in GITEX Africa 2023, the premier technology and innovation conference in the African continent.

New partnerships on the horizon

Three of the Ugandan entrepreneurs forged mutually beneficial agreements with two Korean start-ups during GITEX Africa in Marrakech.

And seven Korean startups participated in the Unicorn Acceleration Program of the Korea-Africa Foundation and met YSA entrepreneurs.

Trampo Technologies, a freight-sharing startup, signed a memorandum of understanding with Harven, a biotech cold chain logistics startup in the Republic of Korea.

Karaa, which focuses on developing electric bicycles and eco-friendly transport solutions, also entered agreements with Harven. Those are awaiting the finalization of signatures.

Two startup leaders shake hands in conference room
An entrepreneur from YSA Ugandan startup Karaa shakes hands with a Korean startup for a potential partnership during the GITEX Africa conference.
ITC/Hosoo Ahn
Two startup leaders look at a handheld device
YSA Ugandan startup KaCyber discusses with a Korean startup about a potential partnership.
ITC/Hosoo Ahn

KaCyber Technologies, which created an innovative digital transport management system, successfully partnered with Coconut Silo, a mobility and logistics startup platform based on AI technology.

Supernova Challenge and Women in Tech Award

The Supernova Challenge, the event’s highlight, was an exhilarating competition designed to showcase the brightest and most innovative startups in the region. This thrilling challenge invited entrepreneurs and visionaries to present their ground-breaking ideas and solutions to a panel of esteemed judges and a captivated audience.

As part of its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, the challenge awarded the Women in Tech prize, tailored for one exceptional startup led by women. The award recognizes and empowers women entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and making significant contributions to the African tech landscape.

This prize was awarded to Ugandan startup M-Scan, which develops a low-cost, portable ultrasound device to improve maternal health. The goal is to provide affordable scans to isolated areas of Uganda and beyond, to reduce mortality of pregnant women and newborn complications by identifying health issues at an early stage.

Women receives red prize envelope
A YSA entrepreneur from M-Scan won the Women in Tech award.
ITC/Hosoo Ahn

Three startups reach semifinals

Two other promising Ugandan startups reached the competition semifinals, showcasing their dedication to advancing Africa's tech ecosystem.

Agrosahas International Private Ltd, an agritech startup, aims to aggregate and process locally sourced products targeting domestic and overseas markets. Essymart, founded in 2020, has created income opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs by leveraging an efficient logistics system and a digital platform. Their service assists farmers in managing inventory, sales, and transactions.

The 10 businesses from the Youth Startup Academy were the only Ugandan entrepreneurs at the event. Having three start-ups reach the semifinals of a competition with hundreds of competitors from all over the world was not only a great success but also an important learning opportunity and inspiration for all entrepreneurs in the academy.

Group of entrepreneurs pose in front of GITEX Africa sign
Ten entrepreneurs who went through the Youth Startup Academy (YSA) Uganda participated at GITEX Africa for the first time.
ITC/Hosoo Ahn

About the project

The Youth Startup Academy Uganda project, funded by the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME), and implemented by ITC in partnership with Hive Colab, aims to incubate 1,000 young entrepreneurs from 2022 to 2024. The adaptation will build on the work done by the Korean Government, will take into consideration the circumstances in which Ugandan entrepreneurs conduct their business, and will include ITC’s knowledge and expertise in supporting entrepreneurs and accessing markets.