Input-Output Global (IOG)'s Project Catalyst has launched Ariob, an incubator scheme, in collaboration with iceaddis, a pan-African business incubator.
This strategic partnership aims to accelerate the growth of projects financed by Cardano's innovation engine, Project Catalyst, by providing start-ups with venture-building skills and resources to help them develop products that address real-world problems in Africa.
NEW BLOG: Today we're delighted to formally announce the launch of #ProjectCatalyst's Africa-focused Ariob Incubator program, in collaboration with @iceaddis, a pan-African business incubator, and accelerator hub? https://t.co/c1pQrNWsus— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) April 6, 2022
The Ariob incubator, which is open to all Africa-focused projects, currently has nine Africa-based initiatives joining the incubator scheme, among which are WADA and Waya Collective. A focus on delivering cutting-edge programs in Africa seems beneficial to Cardano as it might accelerate the growth of its ecosystem.
Cardano's focus on Africa
In late February, John O'Connor, IOHK director of African operations, shared the news about the first set of loans being disbursed to Kenya SMEs, highlighting the incoming potential of Cardano's RealFi.
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson revealed that the company plans to introduce peer-to-peer (P2P) lending across Africa this year, starting with Kenya. This, he believes, is part of an effort to close the gap between industrialized and developing countries.
Last year, Input-Output Global (IOG) announced its partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to provide five million Ethiopian students with a way to verify their academic credentials using Atala PRISM technology, built on Cardano. IOG is also working with World Mobile in Zanzibar to connect the unconnected and enable access to essential online services through blockchain technology.
In a blog post, Cardano's parent firm, IOHK, described these partnerships as a "launchpad" for Cardano's goal to build RealFi. The word "realFi" was defined by IOHK as real finance that is focused on people who genuinely need new ways to access finance, producing the real value frequently lacking from DeFi, and it also intends to deliver attractive yields to crypto holders, as well as cheaper credit/financial goods for real people.