Ethiopia’s first VC-backed incubator, weVenture, plans to bolster early-stage startups

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January 8, 2024
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2 min read
Startup Ethiopia
Image source: TechCrunch

The news: 

  • weVenture, a newly launched Ethiopian-based venture capital-backed incubator, has begun operation.
  • Powered by a partnership of local industry leaders, investors, and professionals, the hub aims to identify, nurture, and scale the country's early-stage startups. 
  • The incubator plans to support at least eight startups through incubation and acceleration programmes in the first year. It wants to prioritise startups that provide cutting-edge solutions to Ethiopia's challenges. 

weVenture, founded by Noel Daniel and Makeda Tsegaye, aims to help local startups with groundbreaking innovations secure private and public funding to execute and grow their businesses.

On why the Managing Partners founded the incubator hub, “We require more privately funded hubs in the country. weVenture is crafted to uplift startups and establish a professional and open workspace.” 

Now, more than ever, incubators like weVenture occupy a critical position in the country’s ecosystem. According to a report published by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Japanese administrative agency, most startups in Ethiopia are in their early stages of business, with only 23% at their post-early stage. 

These startups have an overwhelming need for investment to scale their operations. weVenture, with the considerable resources it says it has, seems well-positioned to help these companies. Thus, the hub could face challenges as it navigates the emerging tech landscape. 

Nonetheless, many stakeholders are optimistic about how this hub will inspire the establishment of other incubators and accelerators in Ethiopia.   

With a network of active startup hubs, accelerators, and investor networks like iceaddis, Gebeya, and blueMoon fostering the growth of a diverse range of startups, Ethiopia boasts a burgeoning tech scene. 

Ethiopian investors and business leaders have hailed WeVenture's initiative as revolutionary for the nation's quickly expanding startup scene. If done well, Ethiopia could join the ranks of African countries with thriving tech communities, such as Kenya and Nigeria.

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