The Partnership Program

Open call for startups in Africa and Europe


AEDIB|NET: Bridging Digital Innovation Ecosystems across Africa and Europe is the first step of a broader approach to the African–European collaboration on digitalisation and innovation. The project was launched under the broader political initiative AEDIB, initiated by EU Member States (France, Belgium, and Germany) and the European Commission to the EC’s Digital 4 Development process (D4D).

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program and coordinated by GIZ in Germany, AEDIB|NET brings together a network of strong partners from the African and European innovation ecosystem with the ambition to:

  • Inspire the ecosystem actors by developing a supportive innovation policy framework for innovation, building the capacity of marginalized groups and enhancing digital and entrepreneurship skills via a ‘Digital Entrepreneur Skills Academy’.
  • Create Digital Innovation by establishing African Digital Innovation Hubs (ADIHs), a Digital Hub Lab, online marketplaces with virtual communities and investor networks. The ADIHs will focus on four topics: Climate Smart Agriculture, Smart Cities, Digital Trade and Clean Tech.
  • Connect start-ups, SMEs, DIHs, diaspora and other African and European ecosystem players in trans-continental partnerships to facilitate inter-continental collaboration and the creation of a common digital innovation ecosystem.

Further information about the project can be found here.


January 29, 2023
OrganizerAEDIB | NET
Website Visit website
Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Europe, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda
Agritech, Clean technology, Clean technology and energy, ICT, Information technology, Smart city solutions

About the program

On behalf of the AEDIB|NET consortium, the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN) is looking for 100 startups (50 in Africa and 50 in Europe) to participate in one of the two Virtual Partnership Programs managed by two innovation centres (1 in Africa and 1 in Europe) within the framework of AEDIB|NET project.

The virtual partnership program will be designed with core shared elements for all the 50 start-ups in each area, and tailor-made components meeting specific needs detected in the companies within each group. The duration of the program is designed to be 6 months. The common sessions will be focused on topics such as:

  • Business development
  • Start-up management
  • Strategic planning
  • Access to finance/credit and fundraising
  • Networking sessions
  • Sustainability
  • Internationalisation
  • EU funding
  • IPR, patent, certification
  • Culture training

There will be specific sessions dedicated to small groups focused on Sector specific topics, trends, best practices, main stakeholders and sessions with DIHs specialised in each of the AEDIB|NET sectors.

The Virtual Partnership Program will be designed around the following pillars:

  • Capacity-building
  • Peer-learning
  • Problem-solving
  • Learning-by-doing

For each block, different innovation stakeholders, including more experienced entrepreneurs, second-chance entrepreneurs, and successful start-ups, will be invited to share their experiences and best practices favouring exchanges between the participating start-ups and guest innovation stakeholders established/operating in the region.

The AEDIB|NET bootcamps

The 100 selected participants for this program will have the possibility of participating in the AEDIB|NET bootcamps.

The first online bootcamp will be open for the 100 participants and will coincide with the Kick-off session of the Partnership Program.

Program benefits

The final aim of the program will be to allow start-ups to engage in learning and knowledge exchange exercises. Moreover, linking and matchmaking of tech entrepreneurs, innovation partners and intermediaries (i.e., hubs, entrepreneurship supporters, networks, academia) will be fostered to raise the capacity of tech start-ups and to support the linkages between the Digital Innovation Ecosystems in Europe and Africa.

30 participants will also have the chance to participate in the face-to-face bootcamps as 15 participants will be invited to participate in the bootcamp to be organized in Africa and 15 to the one in Europe. Each face-to-face bootcamp will be organized in conjunction with a major investment event and will be divided into three days, during which they will receive training on investment readiness and will have the chance to pitch in front of a jury and investors.


The start-ups should be legally established in accordance with their country’s current legislation and have the capacity to prove it, if necessary. They also must be related to one of the groups of specialisation of the project or in the process of developing a product or service applicable to any of these sectors:

  • Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Smart Cities
  • Digital Trade
  • Clean Tech