May 19, 2020

Google launches its second Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme

Nigeria
Lagos
Google
Launchpad Accelerator Africa
professo
2 min
Google launches its second Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme

The US-based technology giant, Google, has launched its second Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme.

The project has been launched in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of the company’s focus on entrepreneurship in Africa.

The launchpad has selected 11 startups as finalists in six different countries across the continent from 250 applicants.

The finalists are: AppZone (Nigeria), Chalkboard Education (Ghana), Cloud9xp (Kenya), EzyAgric (Uganda), Formplus (Nigeria), Medsaf (Nigeria), Mintrics (Egypt), PayGo Energy (Kenya), Pineapple (South Africa), Preeva (South Africa), and Thank U Cash (Nigeria).

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Each startup will receive mentorship and support from Google for three months, training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa in Lagos and Johannesburg, access to resources, and networking opportunities.

From the previous project, Google saw 12 startups graduate the programme, generating 132 jobs between them, and raising US$7mn in funding.

“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” commented Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services at Launchpad Accelerator Africa.

“We’re currently as a region creating about three million jobs per year, while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market."

"Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth, and enable both economic and social development on the continent.”

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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