Digital Square, a PATH-led initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a consortium of other partners, has announced its first call for digital entrepreneurs based in Africa interested in working in the health sector.
Digital Square partners with innovators to increase the availability, adaptability, and maturity of high-quality software, service, and content options to address country-driven health needs.
Since its inception in 2016, it has raised more than US$100 million from 15 investors to catalyse a range of digital health investments, working with ministries of health around the world to align adaptable, interoperable digital technologies with local health needs.
With initial funding from the Bayer Foundation and USAID, the Digital Health Ecosystem project (DHE) will support the sustainability and expansion of digital tools for health by changing how they are built, deployed, and scaled. This opportunity will provide a platform to foster a global network of independent teams collectively building on a common open-source platform. By doing so, developers will have a proven, economically viable digital foundation for their applications.
The call seeks to connect local solutions to financial assistance, technical resources, and opportunities to scale for innovative entrepreneurs.
“We want to strengthen our engagement with countries by working closely with local actors to advocate the adoption and use of global goods. We are looking forward to discovering local innovations that meet an unmet global health need and, through our global goods community, work with local organisations to support them on their journey to scale,” said Carl Fourie, deputy director of global goods at Digital Square.
The call for Expression of Interest (EOI) is open to innovative African startups, small and medium-sized businesses, for-profit and non-profit organisations, and individual social entrepreneurs. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to become part of a continent-wide list that will be shared with donors, investors, and implementing partners globally, and get alerted to third party funding opportunities.
A subset of respondents will be invited to participate in a DHE-funded request for application. Successful applicants in the request for application round will have access to financial capital required to develop, deploy and implement scalable digital health products. This financial support will initially be through a grants programme, and later through a partnership with existing donor programs and government co-investment.
Applications are open until Friday, August 12, at 11:59 pm PDT. Applicants will receive a response by September 30.