Up Accelerate is a one-year initiative implemented by Outbox in partnership with UNFPA and funding from UKAID. It seeks to support young entrepreneurs aged 18 - 30 years that are tackling challenges in sexual and reproductive health in Uganda by providing them with mentorship and seed funding of up-to $10,000 per team and business development training.
The Up Accelerate initiative was developed with support from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and launched in November 2016 to run until October 2017. The program seeks to support up-to eight (8) startup companies develop their solutions into market ready, scalable and sustainable businesses. Four teams were selected to participate in the first Up Accelerate incubation process. Due to the success of the first initiative, Outbox launched the next call for applications to the second cycle (II). This process involved the identification of opportunity areas the innovators should address, the sourcing and recruitment of applicants through activities that included marketing, boot camps and pitching.
The College of Computing and IS hosted the 4-hour workshop on Monday 10th April 2017. The boot camp was led Mr. Solomon Opio (Capacity Development Lead, Outbox) who introduced himself and laid out the objectives and expectations of the boot camp to the participants.
Some of the objectives of boot camp included:
- Sensitizing and mobilizing young entrepreneurs on the Up Accelerate program process;
- Enabling participants, understand the challenges from the perspective of the end beneficiaries and stakeholders, so that they can act upon them through concept generation.
- Some of the expectations of the Bootcamp included:
- Participants developing an understanding of the challenge areas from the perspective of various stakeholders and end beneficiaries;
- Participants identifying opportunities for change in relation to the challenges identified.
Also shared with the participants were the Up Accelerate Cycle II Challenges whereby a challenge is an area that will have a significant change or impact on the Uganda Health care system. For example;
- How might we improve demand and access to essential maternal health medicines and supplies in Uganda?
- How might we improve the use of data in health care planning, monitoring and delivering?
Concluding the workshop, a debrief on lessons learned and a survey were given to each participant to be able to allow the facilitator’s get feedback about the program.