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Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program for High-Impact EdTech Companies 2023

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program is an EdTech specialised venture support program uniquely designed for high-growth and high-impact companies addressing pressing challenges in education in South Africa through technology and innovation.

The EdTech Fellowship Program specifically focuses on the following three key objectives:

  • Facilitate market access with a lens to increase reach to beneficiaries at the “bottom of the pyramid”;

  • Design and implement, or refine, impact measurement, monitoring, and evaluation systems; and

  • Improve financial sustainability, including investment readiness support, where appropriate.

About Injini

Injini is a registered Non-Profit Company that exists for the sole purpose of improving educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. We do this by supporting key stakeholders to increase the quality, access and relevance of education throughout the region.

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Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program

Application Deadline19 Mar 2023
Country to studySouth Africa
GenderMen and Women

Aim and Benefits of Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program

Each selected EdTech company, or “Fellow”, will receive Injini’s specialised acceleration support valued at over R2,500,000, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Benefits include:

  • ?Equity-free venture funding of over R1,000,000;

  • Hands-on support from specialists in education innovation, fundraising, impact M&E, commerce and more;

  • Pedagogical evaluation and certification by EdTech Impact and Education Alliance Finland;

  • Bespoke market research support by the Injini Think Tank’s team of education innovation researchers;

  • “Sponsored skills” to temporarily fill identified gaps in each team with the intention to build capacity for long-term success;

  • Exposure and growth in new markets, including travel and speaking opportunities at ecosystem events;

  • Training and personalised coaching from faculty members of Carnegie Mellon University – a global leader in education technology and applied learning sciences; and

  • Contributing to a growing body of evidence documenting “what works” in African EdTech.

Requirements for Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program Qualification

The typical participating EdTech company in the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program fits the following profile:

  • Has a tech-enabled solution designed to improve educational outcomes in South Africa, preferably supporting learners in pre-primary education (ages 0-5), primary and secondary education (ages 5-18) and/or teacher training and professional development;

  • Post-revenue (annual turnover likely exceeding R1,000,000);

  • Has the potential to reach 8,000 direct learners within one year of program participation;

  • Addresses a substantial market opportunity, with a focus on South Africa;

  • Characterised by a great potential for creating positive social impact on educational outcomes;

  • Has recently raised or is in the midst of raising a seed round of funding or has demonstrated that their maturity is at a comparable level;

  • Led by a diverse team with a strong understanding of the context in which they operate – we’re especially excited to support inspiring female founders and leadership teams.

Interview date, Process and Venue for Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program


The Cohort 4 Incubation Programme will be made up of three phases.

This acceleration program will take on a hybrid format, primary engagements will be online with key initiatives and activities taking place at Injini’s office in Cape Town. Site visits will also be conducted where possible throughout the duration of the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program.


  • As soon as the selection is finalised, we’ll begin preparations for the Launch Event taking place on 13 April 2023. 

  • We’ll kick off the program by working alongside each EdTech Fellow to conduct a diagnostic needs assessment process and develop custom milestones to ensure each Fellow gets optimal value from their participation in the program. 

  • We aim to finalise all milestones by Monday, 8 May 2023, although some Fellows are likely to have theirs set sooner. 

  • Our expectation is to engage with Fellows in-person in Cape Town for at least one week of this time.


  • With leading experts in education innovation and venture development, each EdTech Fellow will receive bespoke support as well as strategic engagement with various ecosystem stakeholders and partners.

  • See the Program Outline for more details.

  • EdTech Fellows will be expected to spend roughly one week per month of the program in Cape Town. All relevant travel expenses will be covered by the program. Precise schedule to be finalised in due time.


  • With the help of our EdTech Fellows, we look forward to building evidence of ‘what works’ in African EdTech, which will enable us to further engage government stakeholders, investors, and other partners who can channel more resources into the sector, reduce regulatory barriers and create a more enabling environment for South African education innovation.

Application Deadline

March 19, 2023

How to Apply

Applications open on 20 February 2023 and close at midnight on 19 March 2023. EdTech startup founders and senior business leaders applying for the program will be expected to participate in the below engagements as part of the shortlisting process. 

Note: travel to and from Cape Town for those residing elsewhere in South Africa* will be covered by Injini.

  1. Round One – Application Form Submission: Eligible EdTech founders or business leaders are invited to submit an application.

  2. Round Two – Due Diligence: Shortlist applicants will be requested to submit additional information** to further evaluate each business and its potential for growth in the EdTech Fellowship Program.

  3. Round Three – Virtual Interviews: The top 25 EdTech companies will be invited to interview with the Injini team.

  4. Round Four – Pitches: 18 EdTech companies will be selected and invited to pitch their solution to the Injini selection committee in Cape Town on 4 or 5 April 2023. 

  5. Cohort Launch Event: The final selected 12 South African EdTech companies will be invited to present at an exclusive event taking place in Cape Town on 13 April 2023. 

For more details, visit Injini website.

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