Ampion, the Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa, is opening up the latest round of its pan-African bus tours for corporate executives, startup founders, and investors.
Now in its third year the buses will hit the road between September and December with trips across East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, and Tunisia.
Last year, Ampion selected 160 people from an applicant pool of around 1,000 to hop on buses traveling the continent and making pit stops at regional technology development hubs.
Seats on the bus cost African entrepreneurs $50 and are largely subsidized by Ampion’s corporate partners who have included Merck, Microsoft, and SAP in the past.
On the road, selected entrepreneurs will receive advice from mentors culled from Africa’s technology centers and incubation facilities, as they travel across 14 countries.
The tours cover 7 days, with each batch of entrepreneurs focusing on particular industries in technology.
East and West African tours will focus on entrepreneurs building companies in financial technology, electronic health, and modern governance, while the South African tour is targeting founders looking to launch hardware or agriculture-related businesses. In Tunisia, Ampion is looking to organize a bus trip focused on female entrepreneurs and investors.
Each tour wraps up with pitches in front of regional investors and political luminaries and coincides with major regional events like DEMO Africa in Nigeria, AfricaCom in South Africa and the Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda.
The organization has already pointed to two successes from its previous program. Halt!Ebola, was an app enabling rural populations to receive healthcare information through automated calls and voice messages recorded in different tribal languages, and sterio.me, which allows teachers to send and receive homework and educational supplements over free sms, both were early participants in Ampion’s program.