Pangea Accelerator, an Oslo-based investment platform and accelerator programme, has opened applications to its recently launched accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. Applications to the Pangea Accelerator Programme opened last week Friday (5 January) and will close on 19 February. A total of 40 startups will be selected to join the accelerator, which Pangea Accelerator co-founder and investor manager Chisom Udeze said is expected to kick off on 2 March.The accelerator was founded last year by Udeze a Nigerian, together with Dede Koesah (Ghana/Togo), Gilbert Kofi Adarkwah (Ghana), and Jonas Tesfu (Eritrea), with the aim of supporting impact-driven African early-stage startups operating in fintech, agribusiness, Greentech, Edtech, and health tech, among other sectors.Applications are open to startups from any African country. To qualify applicants must either be at the pre-revenue stage or already generating a revenue. In addition, the startups must also have the potential to create jobs in their respective communities. Udeze advised interested applicants to submit “structured applications” which clearly define the startup’s innovative approach, scalability, team skillset and competence as well as capacity to see projects through. “We want a comprehensive application that shows they understand the problems they are solving and the direct and indirect impacts their solution brings,” she said.The milestone-based programme will run for three months and will focus on making participating startups investment ready as well as on validation and scaling. Towards the end of the programme, the accelerator — which has its own investment programme — will provide the top 10 startups with up to $50 000 in funding. The investor manager said that Pangea Accelerator “believes in smart money”, explaining that the investors contribute more than funds, but their skills, networks and industry expertise as well.She said the selected startups do not have to give up equity to participate in the accelerator’s all-expenses paid programme. “At Pangea, we believe the startups should be in control of their business and how much equity they decide to give away. Our role is primarily, to connect them to relevant investors and capital,” she added.The accelerator’s founders who are from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, and Eritrea, visited Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya before finally choosing to launch the accelerator in Kenya because of the country’s “well developed startup ecosystem”. Pangea’s Nairobi accelerator programme will be run in collaboration with Strathmore University and Kenyan startup and research hub @iLabAfrica.Learn more and apply here.