SLUSH stage
Mwila Kangwa, founder of Zambian company AgriPredict, making his pitch at Slush

NIRAS programmes produce two winners at Slush

The Safe Motherhood Alliance and AgriPredict, both from Zambia, have been chosen as winners of the Slush Global Impact Accelerator.

13. Dec 2018

The Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) is a programme focused on supporting start-ups from emerging markets that offer sustainable and social impact solutions to the world’s problems. Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, GIA partners with organisations worldwide to find candidate start-ups, provide them with training, and give them a chance to gain exposure at Slush in Finland – one of the biggest start-up events in Europe.

On 27 November, the 19 entrepreneurs selected to participate in GIA arrived in Helsinki to take part in the Slush GIA Bootcamp. After a whirlwind of trainings, workshops, and company visits, the ten best start-ups were selected to pitch at Slush, two of which were chosen as the winners on 5 December.

This year’s winners of GIA have two things in common: both are run by Zambian entrepreneurs and both have been supported by NIRAS projects that partnered with Slush GIA. The first, Safe Motherhood Alliance, was founded by Muzalema Mwanza, one of the winners of the SANBio/BioFISA FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme.

The second, Mwila Kangwa’s start-up AgriPredict, responded to a call for impact-driven Zambian start-ups, put out by the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS) through its partner hub, BongoHive. After being selected as the person with the most promising start-up, Mwila received online and offline coaching in business development and pitching as well as a chance to represent SAIS Connected Hubs at Slush.


The success of these start-ups shows the potential in Southern Africa and the important role tech and innovation hubs play in helping them to become investment-ready. Initiatives like SAIS and BioFISA can provide a platform that connects entrepreneurs to trans-national and global opportunities.

Ilari Lindy, SAIS programme's Lead Expert

As winners of the GIA, both AgriPredict and Safe Motherhood Alliance will receive a EUR 5,000 cash prize and further mentoring. Adding to this good news, AgriPredict has also been nominated for the Bayer Foundation’s Aspirin Innovation Award, which is worth EUR 100,000.

If you are interested to learn more about SAIS, which recently opened it's second call for proposals, visit You can find more information on SAIS projects from the first call here.