In partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS Startups, at the Harvard iLabs we hosted (special mention to Leo’s organizational efforts) the inaugural NextGen Accelerator, a two-week founder bootcamp for early-stage student founders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and universities in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania).

Taking place at the Harvard Innovation Labs in July, founders engaged in daily sessions covering various topics, such as customer discovery, market validation, pitching, fundraising, and leadership skills. There were also guest speakers, panels, pitching, networking dinners… intense two weeks!

The 25 participating ventures received a grant from The Schultz Family Foundation to cover housing, food, and flight expenses. AWS offered $5,000 in AWS credits and access to AWS experts to participants of the NextGen Accelerator.

It was truly a privilege to work with these energetic students, particularly the teams in my group, which included: AfyaBridge (University of Nairobi), AlHealthDataXchain (Dillard University), bEHR Health Systems (Xavier University of Louisiana), SingularityMD (Howard University), and Tawi Digital Health (University of Nairobi).

Here’s the full list of the 25 student-led startups selected for the 2023 NextGen Accelerator.

Here are some photos of the final day from the iLabs and here are some photos I took.