A member of the audience asks a question at Injini's event

About the Fellowship

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program is a six-month, equity-free acceleration program. It is designed for high-growth and high-impact companies using technology and innovation to address challenges in South African education. The 2024 applications are now closed. Sign up to our newsletter to be notified about program updates.

Program Objectives

Create Market Access

We give our fellows exposure to a broader market in order to reach more learners, especially those in under-resourced communities.

Measure Impact

We help design and implement, or refine, impact measurement, monitoring, and evaluation systems for our fellows.

Enhance Sustainability

We work to improve financial sustainability through investment readiness support, exposure to funding opportunities and more.

Our fellows’ impact in 2023

Two women talking at Injini's event

R84 million

Total Revenue

Young students work on a technical component.

1.6 million +

New Learners Reached

A panel of speakers at Injini's event


Female Representation

Fellowship Benefits

Receive specialised support worth over R2,500,000

Additional benefits include networking, knowledge-sharing, and learning opportunities with industry experts. Importantly, participants contribute to a growing body of evidence documenting "what works" in African EdTech, furthering EdTech research in the region.

Specialised Support

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

Pedagogical Evaluation

Pedagogical evaluation and certification by EdTech Impact and Education Alliance Finland.

Course Access

Access to selected courses, and office hours from at Carnegie Mellon University.

Venture Funding

Includes equity-free venture funding of over R1,000,000


Hear from the Fellows

Don’t take our word for it - listen to what the founders say about their experience of the Fellowship.

Program Process


We select 12 companies, onboard them, understand their specific needs, and set milestones accordingly.

Acceleration Program

We assist each company with impact measurement, market access, investment readiness, and financial sustainability.


Fellows gain ongoing access to networking events, receive monitoring and evaluation support, and receive two additional grant funding disbursements linked to ongoing reporting.


Application Eligibility

Who should apply?

Injini aims to improve the quality, relevance, and access to education in underserved communities throughout Africa.

The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program is open to EdTech startups that fit the following profile:

  • Addresses a substantial market opportunity, with a focus on South Africa;
  • Has a tech-enabled solution designed to increase access and 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, growth-stage startup (annual turnover likely exceeding R1,000,000). If the applicant is a non-profit entity, grant funding constitutes annual turnover
  • Has the potential to reach 8,000 direct learners within one year of program participation
  • 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.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications close at midnight on 13 February 2024. It’s in your best interest to apply early as we’ll be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.

Is there a geographical focus of this program?

Yes. Startups with EdTech solutions that aim to improve educational outcomes within the South African market are eligible to participate in the program. Your startup does not have to be registered in South Africa, however, it is necessary that the majority of your learners (i.e. end users benefiting from your EdTech solution) are based in South Africa.

Does the technology element need to be South African?

No, it doesn’t have to be. The EdTech solution - no matter what the technology is - just needs to focus on the South African market with the goal of improving educational outcomes in South Africa.

Do we have to be based in Cape Town to participate?

No. As long as your primary team members are based in South Africa, Injini will cover their (national) travel costs to and from Cape Town (for one team member) when needed to engage in the in-person program events and interventions.

At least one member of the team will be required to be present at the following program events:

Pitch Event: 26 & 27 March 2024
Program Launch Event: 11 April 2024
Program Onboarding Day: 12 April 2024
At least two program workshops: 1 week in Cape Town (TBC) & 1 week in JHB (TBC)
EdTech Week & Demo Day: 1 week in Cape Town (TBC)

Program Details
What does the reporting process entail?

For the first 6 months of the program, reporting is done on a monthly basis following a reporting template*.

The idea of the reporting is to support Injini in building evidence and understanding around what the EdTech space looks like. This evidence supports Injini in being able to meaningfully guide the greater ecosystem of government, funders and other key stakeholders regarding what works and where there are barriers in the space. It further supports you in building accurate, meaningful data around how your business is tracking, who it is reaching and what impact it is having. This data becomes invaluable when communicating to potential customers and investors.

*None of your data will be shared with anybody outside of Injini’s organisation unless otherwise agreed upon with you.

Following the 6 month accelerator program, reports will be submitted on a quarterly basis for another 24 months.

Does the entire team have to participate in the program?

At least one founder or business leader (executive management level) is expected to participate in the entirety of the EdTech Fellowship Program. However, our preference is to have two committed representatives from each startup engaged in the program from start to finish.

Additional team members will be invited to participate in specific events and training opportunities throughout the program.

What is the structure of the program?

This acceleration program will take on a hybrid format, many engagements will be remote with key initiatives and activities taking place at Injini’s headquarters in Cape Town.

The program follows a bespoke approach, with no set content to be followed. At the beginning of the program, a Needs Assessment will be conducted and milestones identified, with a focus on the three key pillars: Market Access and Product Optimisation; Financial Sustainability and Investment Readiness; and Social Impact Measurement and Management.

What benefits do we stand to gain from participating in the program?

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

Program benefits include:

  • 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 Injini’s team of education innovation researchers;
  • "Sponsored Skills" to swiftly address team needs, produce targeted outputs, and strengthen your overall capacity for long-term business success with the help of external consultants;
  • Networking, knowledge-sharing and learning opportunities with key ecosystem players and industry experts;
  • Access to a selection of courses, in addition to office hours from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University - a global leader in education technology and applied learning sciences;
  • Contributing to a growing body of evidence documenting "what works" in African EdTech; and
  • Equity-free venture funding of over R1,000,000.
Can NPOs/NGOs apply?

Yes, NPOs/NGOs can apply. The application form will take you through the process on how to show your funding and business model.

What does the onboarding process entail?

The onboarding process, which will begin 1 April, includes contracting, introductions to key partners (Carnegie Mellon University and Education Alliance Finland), as well as the beginning of the Needs Assessment Process.

Following the kick-off event and onboarding day (11 & 12 April), the fellows will undergo 1:1 meetings with the Injini team to unpack the needs of the company and map out desired milestones, deliverables, and required support for the accelerator program.

What do you mean by growth-stage?

We are looking to specifically support growth-stage companies which means that they can demonstrate traction (an increased revenue or users), and show potential to be a sustainable solution. They are not in pilot or idea stage of their solution. *It is not necessary for companies to have reached R1m revenue if they can show strong evidence of the above.

What was some of the support received by startups in the previous cohort?

In addition to walking away with a Theory of Change, Data Room, Impact Narrative and Impact Indicators, the startups received (where applicable) support with marketing strategies, business model valuations, bespoke market research, legal advice, investor introductions and roundtables, grant application support, content translations, pitch deck reviews and more.

How do we apply?

Fill out this application form to apply today!

Still have questions?

More details can be found on the Program Brief.

Please email info@injini.africa if you have more questions or need clarification.

Join the EdTech Fellowship

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The 2024 applications are now closed. 
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