East African Start-Ups among Winners in VIVATECH 2020 Challenge

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Health start-ups in Kenya and Uganda have been selected as winners in the VivaTech 2020 Global Challenge amid the coronavirus pandemic. This follows an online final challenge organized by Sanofi following the cancellation of the 2020 edition of VivaTech that was to be held in Paris, France due to the global pandemic. Kenya’s MamaPrime and Uganda’s Teheca emerged winners at the AfricaTech challenges and are set to receive partnership opportunities with Sanofi in the realization of the projects and innovation in their local markets.

Five start-ups were announced winners during the final of the Sanofi AfricaTech challenges (the African lab of Viva Technology) which was conducted online. The five winners were selected from a pool of 11 start-ups who pitched at the finals of the challenge. This year, Sanofi received a total of 268 application from 34 countries across the continent. The selection process was based on 5 criteria: project maturity, early results, relevance of their solution, market potential and business model, as well as the skills and expertise of their team.

At the end of the final, the jury members, composed of  both internal and external experts, announced the 5 winning startups.

Challenge #1: How to support patients with a digital health book in order to access information and make decision?

EYONE (Senegal) offers a shared medical file. Patients have their medical records in real time everywhere and are connected to 35 online health professionals that have partnered with the startup.

Challenge #2: How to help healthcare systems leapfrog from manual to smart logistics solutions at point of care?

Mobihealth International (Nigeria) is Africa’s first fully integrated telehealth electronic medical records and video app. Its mission is to use telemedicine to provide people in developing countries with access to quality healthcare services in the most cost and time effective way, anytime, anywhere.

Challenge #3: How to improve financing and impact of innovative health solutions in Africa?

MamaPrime (Kenya) is a health fintech company that enables mothers and their families to prepay for their prenatal & postnatal care and child wellness services in installments throughout their pregnancy.

Challenge #4?- Sanofi Espoir FoundationHow to improve maternal and neonatal health in sub-Saharan Africa?  

  • Teheca (Uganda) connects new and expectant mothers to qualified nurses for at home post-natal checkups and supports by using low cost and low-tech solutions. The accessibility increase to post-natal cares aims a timely identification and a referral of life-threatening complications during post-natal period.
  • The University Agency Innovation (Cameroon) is a hub of scientific, technological and enterprise-based innovations. Its spin-off AUI Techno designs and produces an interactive infant incubator connectable to doctors’ smartphones, in order to reduce the neonatal mortality rate.

The objective of this initiative is to continue Sanofi’s commitment in encouraging innovation in African continent in order to create a health ecosystem that is at the service of the patient . An ecosystem that includes all stakeholders in the sector: public authorities, private companies, start-ups, etc.

Sanofi would like to thank all participants, who work daily to improve healthcare in Africa through technological innovations and the opportunities offered by digital technology.

The next step is the respective local Sanofi teams will assess partnership opportunities with the 5 winning startups.