Jobtech Innovation Lab
Providing grant capital and bespoke venture building support for early-stage startups.
The Jobtech Innovation Lab partners with jobtech platforms on individual sprints (things like product development, operational innovations, or market expansion) which have the potential to enhance scale, inclusivity, or impact of platforms with their users.
The Jobtech Innovation Lab provides a bespoke combination of technical assistance, management support, and grant capital over the course of 2-6 months based on sprint scope, and seeks to gather learnings which could be of value to the rest of the ecosystem.
We know that there are many great opportunities for jobtech platforms to increase their scale, impact, and inclusivity on the continent, but there is a lack of time, capital, and capacity to deliver on them. We also know that these learnings can benefit many different platforms on the continent. We’re keen to work with jobtech platforms to support individual sprints that help the businesses to further these goals. This could include:
- Developing new products/services.
- Enhancing product, operations, or marketing in order to better deliver services, reach new markets, or remove barriers to access for marginalised populations (particularly young women and/or refugees).
- Supporting market expansion, particularly towards underserved markets.
- Much much more – we’re entirely responsive to business needs and impact opportunity!
What we offer
We co-develop individual sprints, where we agree on a ‘Sprint Support Package’ that could combine:
Venture-building support from leading jobtech practitioners
Technical assistance based on need. This will come from the team at BFA Global (if you need things like product management, engineering, or strategy support) or specialized support (if you need, say, market research on expansion into Ethiopia)
Grant capital to de-risk new initiatives, generally from $10,000 up until $30,000.
We know that, particularly for earlier-stage startups, one of the biggest challenges is time and capacity. We can provide short-term management consultants to support with delivery for 1-12 weeks based on sprint needs.
Connections to the Jobtech Circle of investors, mentors from the jobtech community, and more.
In addition to the support to you, we seek to share generalisable (don’t worry – we won’t touch your IP or unique innovations achieved!) learnings with other platforms in the ecosystem to enable wider scale.
We’re looking for jobtech platforms which satisfy the following criteria:
- Fall into one or more of the jobtech categories as outlined by our taxonomy here.
- Any business stage, but with a focus on more established platforms that have worked out their core offering, but need help to achieve greater scale, impact or inclusivity.
- Operating in (or seeking to expand into) one or more of: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
- Have identifiable business needs that can be overcome by individual sprints.
Please apply through our Jobtech Alliance expression of interest form here. The Jobtech Innovation Lab will select platforms on an ongoing basis. There are no deadlines for application (although based on current funding, we are aiming to select all Portfolio start-ups by 2023). We screen all incoming applications on a biweekly basis, and will let you know progress. We may arrange exploratory conversations. Co-creation of Innovation Lab sprints is a back-for-forth process, and could take weeks or months. All shortlisted platforms are reviewed by an independent selection committee of sector experts