Venture Meda

Venture Meda’s Demo Day: Showcasing Ethiopia’s Innovative E-commerce Startups

In a revolutionary development for Ethiopia’s e-commerce sector, the Mastercard Foundation, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and Iceaddis have jointly rolled out the project;  Venture Meda. With a budget of $4 million, this project aims to solidify the country’s digital economy, creating numerous job opportunities and supporting the growth of innovative startups. Through a collaborative effort, Venture Meda, focusing on the e-commerce sector, is looking to empower young women entrepreneurs, scaffold economic growth, and supplement the government’s Digital Ethiopia 2025 initiative.

“E-commerce and digitized services in Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT and Tourism sectors are focus areas in the Digital Ethiopia 2025.  It is our mission to lead, enable, and design digital foundations and enabling systems needed to create more inclusive jobs. This will contribute to realizing inclusive prosperity. The Ministry is committed to enabling job creation via Technology and Innovation.  I hope that VentureMedia will be a showcase and a success story of working in collaboration with partners in creating decent jobs.”

– H.E. Huria Ali

Venture Meda’s journey reached a significant milestone with Demo Day, in October 2023. The Demo Day served as a platform for the participating startups to present their innovative ideas to possible investors and stakeholders. This highly awaited event spotlighted the progress and diverse backgrounds of the startups, emphasizing the project’s dedication to inclusivity and transformative entrepreneurship. The project’s focus on inclusivity reflected its overarching intent of cultivating a supportive atmosphere for all budding entrepreneurs, regardless of their circumstances or backgrounds.

“At the heart of our mission is a deep commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth. Through this partnership, we are excited to support high-potential e-commerce startups, activate thousands of young people in Ethiopia, and create quality jobs. As one of the leading pan-African incubators and accelerators, we believe that by leveraging the power of technology, community, and innovation, we can create lasting value for startups and society as a whole”.

 – Markos Lemma

The first two cohorts of Venture Meda were composed of twenty carefully selected startups, segregated into ten early-stage companies and ten growth-oriented ventures. Coaching and mentoring, seed funding, promotion, and various approaches within the incubation and acceleration programs were all used to provide these startups with assistance and direction. As they got ready for the Demo Day, they had the opportunity to show off their development and promise to a larger audience.

Among the startups chosen for Venture Meda’s first cohort, several high-caliber ventures stood out. On the incubator program, Fox Events and Tuba and from the accelerator Mogzit In-home Care, Marketplace, WEZ Vehicle Intermediary PLC, Yetem Delivery, and Pick Delivery were just a few of the innovative companies that seized this stage to present their ideas and achievements.

The Demo Day served as a pinnacle of the hard work and dedication of these startups, as well as the collaborative work of the consortium. It allowed these business owners to find new partners, potential investors, and additional funding for their projects. The event not only showcased the businesses’ advancement but also Ethiopia’s e-commerce industry’s potential for transformation.

The success of the Demo Day further solidified the project’s traction and onboarded more startups eager to benefit from the resources and support. The ongoing collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and Iceaddis ensured the continued growth and success of the project, driving Ethiopia’s digital economy forward.

Venture Meda’s Demo Day marked a big step forward in Ethiopia’s journey towards a sprinting digital economy. It provided a venue for companies to interact with possible investors and stakeholders while presenting the creative ideas and entrepreneurial expertise the country’s youth had to offer. Venture Meda left a long-lasting mark on Ethiopia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and established the foundation for a better and more prosperous future by aiding and equipping e-commerce startups.