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  • Sharon Mwale

Behind the Nomination Process: Yale Africa Startup Review

Updated: Feb 11

Introducing the Yale Startup Review


At the Yale Africa Startup Review ('YASR' or 'Review'), we want to cover the full scale, dynamism and diversity of innovation evident across the entire Continent. Most publications that cover African startups, or attempt to rank them, seem to Google-search and feed off the current news cycle of who is popular. The intention is right and it’s easy to do; however, it relegates the less popular verticals to obscurity and leaves stories from ecosystems based in smaller countries untold. It also does not capture startups that aren't necessarily found on the news circuit.


At YASR, we do things differently! We have taken a grassroots approach and built a process tailored for the African context. We reached out to over 300 investors, accelerators, hubs and entrepreneurs from Somalia to Senegal, Egypt to Malawi and asked them to nominate startups to the Review. We are working with these nominated startups, their founders and nominators to get data for further due diligence. It is the hard way, but the best way to connect with people working with entrepreneurs on the Continent - and it's worth it! There’s more brilliance and diversity in this ecosystem than a simple Google search would have you believe.


At the Yale Africa Startup Review, we are simply storytellers. The real credit belongs to the local startups and ecosystem builders. We’ve just chosen to seek out stories that haven't been told; to feature, instead of rank; and to learn from the people on the ground - as it should be.


Originally published on Medium

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