TechInPacific – Established in 2016, GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund was built to provide funds, technical resources, and a chance for every selected start-up in Africa and Asia-Pacific to work with mobile operators to improve their product and business service with positive socio-economic impact.
More than 30 portfolios of start-ups in the Asia Pacific and Africa have been built by this program. Moreover, companies that were joining this program have upgraded the additional fund per May 2020, with a total amount of £ 188 million. The project’s funding by Ecosystem Accelerator Program helps more than 6.3 million people and bring positive socio-economy impacts
In December 2018, the third round of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund was launched. Our founding partner and Australian Government supply extra fund for every start-up which joined the program. The various ecosystems present that collaborate with mobile operator did not only an option in the advanced ecosystem such as in Indonesia, but also become a reality in Samoa. Various sectors that are presented in portfolios are also increasing, with new situations such as citizen participation being handled by newcomers.
Promisingly, the number of women as the co-founder of many start-ups that registered in this round increased. It can be seen from the percentage, in the first round, there was only 13 percent. In round two, it increased to 44 percent. Last, in the third round of the Ecosystem Accelerator Program reached the number of 85 percent from the top 200 start-ups. Although there was an improvement, we still encouraged more start-ups led by women to join our program. This transformation can also become a positive representation of the technology ecosystem in the Asia Pacific and Africa.
Four lessons can be shared from the third round of GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund in Asia Pasifik, including Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Samoa. All start-ups should build and develop their relationship with the local government, teach the users and boost behavioral change, support women to use your assistance, and develop your MNO partnership.