Innovation Program

HealthTech Hub Africa

Become a mentor of an African HealthTech startup and join us in the mission of strengthening health systems!

Join the HealthTech community of startup mentors, get trained and make a difference by mentoring the entrepreneurs who will revolutionize health in Africa.

By offering 4hrs of your time every month over the course of 4 months, you will help startups validate their solutions, scale their businesses and change the lives of patients!

What is the HealthTech Hub Africa?

The HealthTech Hub Africa is a HealthTech Accelerator based in Kigali, Rwanda. The hub, located at the Norrsken East Africa House and powered by the Novartis Foundation, hosts 30 startups from around Africa. For one full year, all of them have unlimited access to the state of the art space and are part of the HealthTech Hub Innovation Program that includes capability-building opportunities, partner match-making with the public and private sectors, and mentorship and opportunities to test and validate their solutions in the public health system. Lastly, all of them have a life-time access to the hub’s community of HealthTech mentors, peer innovators and experts.


Meet innovators

Why participate?

Help tackle major health challenges

Problem-solve on how to improve the 30 innovations in virtual health and care, cardiovascular health or breast cancer for populations in Africa.

Grow professionally

Develop your own abilities as a mentor while you support a growing project: leadership, empathy, innovation methodology, etc.

Meet innovators

Connect with innovative entrepreneurs and mentor the best projects.

Expand your network

Join a global network of professionals who share your interests.

Decide when and where

Be a mentor from anywhere at any time through an online platform.

Bring the learnings back

Boost the intrapreneurship within your organization by being also reverse mentored by innovators from the field.

Apply your skills

If you have the motivation and time, you can go one step beyond mentoring and directly contribute to the team’s success by helping them with specific activities.

Who are we searching for?

This program is perfect for you if…

Deadline to apply

FEBRUARY 5th, 2022

The application period has ended, stay tuned to join the next programs!

Program timeline

Deadline on February 5th
Deadline on February 5th

Mentor applications

Send us your application, we want to know more about you and your motivations to become a mentor. Please apply from a computer or tablet and not a smartphone.

Monday, February 6th
Monday, February 6th

Announcement of selected HealthTech mentors

We will review all the applications and we will select mentors to participate in this edition of the program.

Monday, February 7th
Monday, February 7th

Attend the Mentor’s training session

If selected, you will be invited to a Training Session where we cover your role as mentor, how to use the innovation platform, its methodology and much more. Use this opportunity to network with your fellow mentors.

From February 8th to 23rd
From February 8th to 23rd

Mentor and Entrepreneur matching

"Matching" in our program is a fun process in which you get to meet several volunteer business mentors and decide which one is the best fit for you. Over the course of the first two weeks, you’ll meet some of our entrepreneurs to find the best fit for both entrepreneurs and mentors. We will then select your final “match” - the entrepreneur who you will be working with during the entirety of the program.

From March 1st, 2021 to June 30th, 2022
From March 1st, 2021 to June 30th, 2022

Online Innovation Program

Meet weekly with your mentee for the duration of the program to go over their business plan. Don’t worry! Our program will guide your mentoring step-by-step through 8 business modules: From helping your mentee polish their value proposition to the development of their growth plan.

Note that there will be a second phase  for Investment Readiness from July to September. In the case you are not selected or available for this first phase of the program, you will be considered for the second  which will also require mentorship.

The program at a glance

The program offers a gamified and step by step experience that allows entrepreneurs to create their business plans and validate their model. Far from theory, the pedagogy pushes them to formulate their ideas and answer the tough questions.

It invites them to “get out there”, talk to people, research, and validate their ideas. As a mentor, you will be there for them every week to support them by challenging assumptions and offering a fresh perspective.

Ready to start?

FAQs about the program

Mentor candidates must demonstrate a passion for helping entrepreneurs and be willing to make a commitment to ensure quality mentoring and a productive business relationship with their mentees in Africa. Mentors can always choose whether or not to work with a project, but once a commitment is made, the time commitment is approximately 4  hours per month for the duration of the entrepreneur’s acceleration program (10 months).

Being a mentor will benefit you in several ways. First, it will allow you to meet and connect with entrepreneurs working on large health challenges of our time. It will also allow you to develop your own skills as a mentor, exposing you to the latest methods of innovation and entrepreneurship, while helping a startup grow.

The program is mainly in english , however the platform is in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and you and your entrepreneur can work together on the language you are both comfortable in.

As a mentor, you will guide your entrepreneur through the 10-month program. You will be the person who understands the ins and outs of their HealthTech business and, week by week, you will help them validate their strategy for each critical step, from targeting the right customers to developing a 3-year growth plan. You will support your entrepreneur through virtual collaboration on the platform as well as regular video chats a few times a month. We also encourage any additional connections and resources you can share with them.

The program consists of 8 business tools ( Value Proposition, Competitive Overview, Key Partners, Business model and marketing, Pricing and commercial viability, Financial Projections, Impact Plan, Growth Plan) as well as healthtech focused topics related to virtual health and care, cardiovascular health, breast cancer.

At the moment, there is only a desktop platform for the innovation program.

Yes, you can! You will need at least 5 years of professional experience working in one of the highlighted above fields.. For this program, understanding of the health and technologies sectors is a key requirement.

Yes – once you’ve been officially accepted as a mentor, you’ll be invited to attend an onboarding training where we’ll explain our innovation-based entrepreneurship methodology and how our platform works. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other mentors and, of course, we’ll be there to answer all your questions! You’ll also join the HealthTech Hub Africa community of mentors to spark conversations, share additional resources, and continue learning!

Yes, you can! The only thing we ask is that you be realistic in your commitment: we don’t want anyone to overcommit or for the other party to have expectations that they won’t be able to meet.

You have the option for both: to mentor your teams in our state-of-the-art facilities at the HealthTech Hub Africa, or to do it virtually via our platform.

The platform has been built to facilitate collaboration. Once you have access to the workspace of an entrepreneur and their  team you’ll be able to work together through comments on every aspect of their business plan, and you’ll also have access to your own team video room embedded in our platform, so that every week you can meet and talk as if you were in the same room, in just a few clicks. Apart from your private project workspace, you will have an online group call with all of the participants from your cohort (mentors and entrepreneurs) to share articles and resources, ask questions, and overcome challenges together. Lastly, you’ll also have one-to-one messaging with your mentee(s) available, and each team can decide (or not) to use alternative communication channels such as phone, WhatsApp, email, Slack, etc.

During the matching phase, you will be able to book your first meeting using the matching tool. For the rest of the program, you can agree on fix a weekly/ bi-weekly meeting with the entrepreneur using Google calendar or any other meeting tool that is convenient.

Begin your application process by creating a mentor account here and completing our application form. We will notify you when your application has been approved and invite you to an onboarding call to welcome you, familiarize you with your role and our methodology, and explain how to explore projects.

Being a  mentor in this program is a 100% volunteer experience that will allow you to impact an entrepreneur’s life when they need it most and learn top-notch entrepreneurship methodologies.

Yes, mentors who successfully complete the incubation program will receive a certificate.

The Novartis Foundation and the Norrsken Foundation have partnered with the goal of providing high quality  entrepreneurship capacity building opportunities, tools and resources to HealthTech innovators in Africa. We believe that by providing this program at no cost, we are truly supporting them to unleash their potential and create solutions with the power to transform some of the biggest health challenges of our time.

Can’t find your question here?

Connect directly with our Program Manager, to ask them in writing or in a quick meeting.

The HealthTech Hub Africa is an initiative of Novartis Foundation supported by Norrsken and Bridge for Billions.