Mastercard EdTech Fellowship Program 2023 for South African Startups

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Last Updated on March 8, 2023

Mastercard EdTech Fellowship

Applications for the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program 2023 are now open. The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program is an EdTech specialized 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.


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.


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.


Applications will close at midnight on March 19, 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.

  • Round One – Application Form Submission: Eligible EdTech founders or business leaders are invited to submit an application.
  • 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.
  • Round Three – Virtual Interviews: The top 25 EdTech companies will be invited to interview with the Injini team.
  • Round Four – Pitches: 18 EdTech companies will be selected and invited to pitch their solution to the Injini selection committee in Cape Town on April 4 or 5, 2023. 
  • 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 April 13, 2023.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Mastercard EdTech Fellowship.

Deadline: March 19, 2023

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