Image Credit: Nest
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African startups have been invited to apply for the Infiniti Accelerator, a 12-week programme based out of Hong Kong focused on startups with smart cities solutions.

The programme is a joint venture between Infiniti, the Hong Kong-based premium car division of Japan’s Nissan, and VC fund Nest, which services early-stage, high growth businesses, and has 48 investments across the world.

Nest has previously partnered with international brands such as DBS Bank and insurer AIA to run corporate accelerator programmes, a policy it is now pursuing with Infiniti. The company launched in Africa last month, when it opened an office in Nairobi, and plans to  roll out accelerator programmes and invest in startups across Africa.

African startups have been invited by the firm to apply for the Infiniti Accelerator, for which up to eight startups will be selected to travel to Hong Kong for the 12-week programme, which will provide them with access to resources to further develop their ideas and scale their solutions for problems associated with rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.

Entrepreneurs will receive mentorship by specialists in the areas of smart cities, hardware, manufacturing, transportation, technology and entrepreneurship, marketing and strategy, as well as access to Nest’s network to scale their innovations globally – into, across  and out of Africa.

At the end of the programme, startups will have the opportunity to pitch for funding and partnerships at Demo Day in Hong Kong.

“By working with Nest and innovative startup companies, we are looking to collaborate further with urban developers on smart city ideas that can improve people’s quality of life in a sustainable way,” said Infiniti president Roland Krueger said.