Applications Open for GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund!

Deadline: 15 April 2018

Applications are open for GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund to provide selected start-ups in Africa and Asia Pacific with equity-free funding, technical assistance, and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators in their markets to help scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with positive socio-economic impact.

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For the third round, the Fund will be supporting start-ups willing to work with mobile operators. The fund is sector-agnostic and open to post-revenue start-ups using mobile to solve local challenges in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

The Fund is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Government, the GSMA and its members.


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The objectives of the Fund are to:

  • Establish partnerships between mobile operators and start-ups in order to increase the reach of innovative mobile services to low-income citizens.
  • Test business models with the greatest potential for growth and impact in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
  • Provide lessons and examples on the ways in which mobile is driving positive socio-economic change.

Funding Information

  • The three types of projects the Fund is interested in are:
    • Type 1 – Launch of new product or service; a project where a brand-new value proposition is developed and launched.
    • Type 2 – Expansion into a new market; a project which launches an existing product/service into a new market.
    • Type 3 – Scaling-up an existing product; a project to extend the reach/customer base of an existing product/service in the same market it was originally launched in.
  • Applicants are expected to submit and justify their requirements for the project to be funded, as well their reasons for the funding amount requested:
    • The amount can be between GBP100,000 and GBP250,000 (AUD180,000 and AUD450,000).
    • The funding requires a certain level of matching from the applicant.
    • The duration of the project can be between 9 and 12 months.


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Eligibility Criteria

The Fund is sector-agnostic and open to post-revenue start-ups using mobile technology to solve local challenges and who are registered and operating in Asia-Pacific and Africa (mentioned above). Available grants will fund projects for 9 to 12 months.

To be eligible to apply, start-ups must meet the following criteria:

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  • Use or be planning to use mobile technology strategically.
  • Have clear and measurable socio-economic impact, in particular: targeting low-income citizens, rural populations, women and/or youth.
  • Have the potential and appetite to form strategic partnerships with mobile operators.
  • Have active users and revenue in at least one market.
  • Be registered and operating in the country of project implementation. The start-up must also be registered in the country where they will receive the grant money (if not the same as the implementation country). Be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee and other regulations in all countries of operation.
  • Be compliant with all applicable laws including upholding/adhering to fundamental human rights, UK Modern Slavery Acts, Gender Equality Act, Child Protection Policies and all international labour standards.
  • Have 50% matching funding for the total grant amount.

How to Apply

  • Applications will be assessed through a 2-stage application process, which is then reviewed by an independent Fund Panel.
    • Pitch stage
    • Proposal stage
  • Applicants can apply via given website.

For more information, please visit GSMA.

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