Funding brief: The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund provides selected start-ups in Africa and Asia Pacific with equity-free funding, technical assistance, and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators in their markets to help scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with positive socio-economic impact.
The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund (“the Fund”) supports innovative start-ups in emerging markets to achieve sustainable growth and improved socio-economic impact. The Fund is looking for start-ups willing and able to work with mobile operators and projects which advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). The objectives of the Fund are to:
● Establish partnerships between mobile operators and start-ups in order to increase the reach of innovative mobile services to low-income citizens.
● Test business models with the greatest potential for growth and impact in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
● Provide lessons and examples on the ways in which mobile is driving positive socio-economic change.
The Fund is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Government, the GSMA and its members.
The funding will be in the form of a grant which should be used for a specific project. The Fund will therefore not be taking any equity against the funding; it will however closely oversee the monetary usage of the grant and only disburse funding based on milestones achievements. Incremental fund payments will be dependent on the start-up delivering proof that mutually-agreed milestones/targets have been completed/achieved. The three types of projects the Fund is interested in are:
● Type 1 – Launch of new product or service; a project where a brand-new value proposition is developed and launched.
● Type 2 – Expansion into a new market; a project which launches an existing product/service into a new market.
● Type 3 – Scaling-up an existing product; a project to extend the reach/customer base of an existing product/service in the same market it was originally launched in.
Donor Name: GSM Association
Funding name: GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund
Deadline: Round 3 of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund opened on 12 March 2018 and all pitches are due by 15th, April, 2018 at 11.59 PM GMT.
Funding details link: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/eainnovationfund/
Funding limit: The support package includes:
● Grant funding (see 6 & 7) between GBP 100,000 and GBP 250,000 (AUD 180,000 and AUD 450,000).
● Mentoring on the use of mobile technology.
● Facilitation of relationships with mobile operators.
● Bootcamp (a programme of expert-led sessions and targeted networking) and regular offline clinics led by subject-matter experts.
Beyond this support, the selected start-ups will also benefit from enhanced visibility through the programme’s insight publications, learnings through exchange with other portfolio start-ups and networking opportunities with the programme’s stakeholders.
Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.
Project start date: Not found
Project duration: Available grants will fund projects for 9 to 12 months.
Eligible organization: As below
● The Fund is sector-agnostic and open to post-revenue start-ups using mobile technology to solve local challenges and who are registered and operating in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
To be eligible to apply, start-ups must meet the following criteria:
● Use or be planning to use mobile technology strategically.
● Have clear and measurable socio-economic impact, in particular: targeting low-income citizens, rural populations, women and/or youth.
● Have the potential and appetite to form strategic partnerships with mobile operators.
● Have active users and revenue in at least one market.
● Be registered and operating in the country of project implementation. The start-up must also be registered in the country where they will receive the grant money (if not the same as the implementation country). Be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee and other regulations in all countries of operation.
● Be compliant with all applicable laws including upholding/adhering to fundamental human rights, UK Modern Slavery Acts, Gender Equality Act, Child Protection Policies (here) and all international labour standards.
● Have 50% matching funding for the total grant amount. During the selection process, we will also ensure start-ups have:
● Adequate financial systems to report regularly to the Fund and, if required, undergo an external audit.
● Adequate internal human resource capability to implement the proposed project within the planned time-frame. They particular encourage the following start-ups to apply:
● Start-ups that can demonstrate how they will advance the SDGs, for example, working on Education and Youth, Job Creation, Public Services, Smart Cities or the growth of local Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.
● Female founders, and start-ups with good representation of women at all levels of the organization.
● Local founders supporting local talent.
● Start-ups that are using the following mobile technologies: Internet of things, USSD, SMS, IVR, Big Data Analytics and Mobile Money etc.
Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Dem Rep., Congo Rep., Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, São Tomé and Principe, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Other: Please specify Please that additional due diligence checks may be required for some markets.
Submission mail: Not found
Other important link:
● Apply: https://gsma.forms.fm/gsma-ecosystem-accelerator-innovation-fund-round-3-pitch-stage
● Guideline: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/EA-Innovation-Fund-Term-Sheet-Round-3.pdf
● Form: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/GSMA-Ecosystem-Accelerator-Round-3-Pitch-Stage-Questions.pdf
● FAQ: https://gsma.forms.fm/gsma-ecosystem-accelerator-innovation-fund-round-3-pitch-stage
How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (https://gsma.forms.fm/gsma-ecosystem-accelerator-innovation-fund-round-3-pitch-stage).
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