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Kampala, Uganda — Five Ugandan startups that are ready for the next level of growth have been selected for the Next Innovation with Japan Accelerator program.

During a pitch day that took place at The Innovation Village recently, startups including M-scan, Laboremus Uganda, ChapChap Africa, Endiro Direct, AkelloBanker, Patasente and Easy Matatu pitched their business solutions and competed against twelve startups to emerge winners of the NINJA Accelerator Uganda program.

Uchiyama Takayuki, the Chief Representative at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Uganda Office said the startups were required to showcase aspects of relevance, impact, feasibility, readiness, traction and innovation.

“We looked at the business profitability, sustainable business models, future growth strategy and return on investment. For the innovation aspect, we assessed the business incorporation of technology to provide solutions and address societal challenges” Uchiyama said.

He add that, “Now that the assessment process is done, the winner will undergo a three-month custom-made program based on their individual business need and capacity so as to achieve their desired level of growth. They will have a chance to access mentorship sessions, executive networking opportunities with partners and investors within the Japan ecosystem and support to test and refine their business idea.”

As part of the accelerator program, each of the five start-ups will receive up to $18,000 proof-of-concept funding to test their ideas. They will also be given the opportunity to raise between $0.5-1 million in investment, Uchiyama added.