Uganda’s BreastIT selected for Vodafone F-LANE accelerator
Ugandan startup BreastIT has been selected to join the Berlin-based Vodafone Institute’s F-LANE Accelerator, one of five ventures chosen from over 180 worldwide applicants.Claiming to be the first accelerator in Europe focusing on tech startups by or for women, F-LANE supports innovative startups run by or for women using tech to provide an entrepreneurial solution to a social problem.Now in its third edition, the programme’s mission is to foster the participation of women in technological development and to empower women of all ages around the world through technology.BreastIT was one of five startups – and the only African candidate – selected to join the seven week programme in Berlin, which kicked off in late March. The Kampala-based venture has developed a glove with piezoelectric crystals on the palm of the hand that produce ultrasound to screen for breast cancer. The device can be used by individuals – especially nurses – as part of a regular breast cancer checkup. The results are analyzed by an algorithm inside the application instantly, and if need be, can be sent to radiologists via a cloud system for a consultancy in under a week.The startup hopes to revolutionise breast cancer care, and make screening more accessible and affordable for African patients.The five F-LANE participants are currently in Berlin following a programme of mentoring, training, and introductions to networks. The programme will culminate at a Demo Day to be held at the start of May, at European tech conference Re:publica, where the startups will pitch to a jury and wider audience in a bid to secure investment.F-LANE says the majority of the startups in the previous two accelerator rounds went on to secure investment at the end of the accelerator programme – with some raising rounds as high as EUR4.5 million (US$5.6 million).