4 Start-ups Win USD 10,000 in Challenge to Innovate for Reproductive Health

One of the startups celebrate their victory after their team “Snap HMIS” won in the Up Accelerate Program cycle 1

Four groups of startup teams have been selected in the Up Accelerate challenge to innovate for sexual and reproductive health.

The four teams each of whom won USD 10, view 000 will be supported to develop their promising ideas into transformative solutions to tackle persistent sexual and reproductive health bottlenecks in Uganda.

“We were impressed by the response and level of engagement of young people despite the complexity of the problem areas within which we wanted them to propose solutions, ” said Richard Zulu, Outbox Team Lead.

Increasingly, entrepreneurship, self-employment, start-ups and other creative solutions are being recognized as avenues to address existing youth unemployment issues and to enable young Ugandans to participate in the social and economic growth of Uganda.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, over 26 million people in the country are below the age of 30 years; thus little can be achieved if the potential of young people is not harnessed.

Up Accelerate, a UK Aid-funded program launched last November, seeks to empower young micro-entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into healthcare start-ups that address persistent sexual and reproductive health challenges.

UNFPA believes that investing in a healthier, educated population and enabling young people to access opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, will provide young Ugandans with a favourable environment to thrive in business and private life, and to make informed and safe decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

A total of 62 teams submitted their solutions to the program. Following public voting and shortlisting by an expert panel of judges, 10 semi-finalists were invited to present their solutions at a pitch day event on Tuesday.

The four winning teams include Teheca, Snap HMIS, Drug Dash and IDrain.

Winners, judges and other officials pose for a group photo

Winners, judges and other officials pose for a group photo

Snap HMIS is a mobile application that helps hospital data clerks compile health management information system (HMIS) reports accurately and in real time. Teheca enables one to find the closest and most qualified caretaker that best suits their care needs from a pool of qualified caretakers.

The other (Drug Dash), is an information system to help health centres and distribution centers manage essential medicines and health supplies (EMHS) stock levels through analytical dashboards that support quick decision making.

And IDrain is an improved chest drainage system which removes the pleural effusion contents of mothers.

In addition to receiving a USD 10,000 seed fund, the winners will undergo intensive mentorship for a period of four months to turn their ideas into sustainable, market ready products or services.

Miranda Tabifor, the UNFPA Representative in Uganda said; “UNFPA is proud to support this initiative to empower young people by giving them the information, tools, and platforms for collaboration to become even more influential, productive actors in society.”


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