ACA Update January 2023

Dear friends,

After a very successful 2022, we entered the new year with significant challenges. As a small nonprofit, sustaining donations year over year was a constant challenge. And while we received full payout of the Algorand Foundation grant, entering 2023, we faced a shortfall in funding that would have prevented us from fully financing our next cohort. Therefore, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend the next session of our Engineering Residency Program.

What makes this hard is that we were genuinely achieving our mission and making the impact in the lives of the devs as we had hoped for from the beginning. I hope this is a temporary setback, and we will secure funding for future sessions and engineers from our program.

So along those lines, we’re going to take the time we have remaining to focus on building out the stable of projects that our team of leads and devs has been working on as we look to see them launched.

To be honest, my hope for the ACA has always been that we would complement donations with revenue from engineering contracts and our own startups. And true to our vision, we’ve brought our top graduates on board to staff these projects and made great progress!

Please have a look! 👀 (Just keep in mind these are works in progress!)

Whole App: [iOS] [Android]

  • Not our project exactly but the terrific health & wellness app from our partners at Happy Broadcast.
  • Two of our program alumni, Les and Montso, are working as developers for both the iOS and Android version of the app.

Fidelis: []

  • Funded through a grant from the Algorand Foundation, Fidelis represents our most complete project and best chance to launch as a viable startup.
  • Audit of the smart contract has begun, as we plan to launch to continue testing and refining the algorithm and user experience.
  • Phomolo, Lereko and Teboho, devs from our first two cohorts, are working on this project.

FarmAI: []

  • Creating virtual farming co-ops for small-scale farmers in Lesotho, developed by Tatane from our third cohort.
  • Work has already started, bringing several farmers and buyers on the platform, with a couple hundred trays of eggs already sold.
  • We’ve raised over $1,600 from GoFundMe for the project, which has been immensely gratifying.

FireSMS: []

  • An affordable messaging API platform for small/mid-sized businesses in Lesotho/Botswana being developed by Bulane from our first cohort.
  • The first two customers for our service will be Fidelis and FarmAI so that customers can be notified quickly and cheaply!
  • You can be the first to support the project on GoFundMe.

AfriCerts: []

  • Project from our last cohort, using NFTs as certificates and skill badges, building on our expertise with the Algorand blockchain.
  • Developed so that the ACA can issue our own certificates on the platform as we look to work with our partner universities to provide the solution for other African institutions.

The plan is to raise a pre-seed fund within the ACA to back these companies so they can be staffed, incubated and launched with our leads and devs at the helm.

If you know anyone that might be interested or would like details, please reach out!

Thank you, as always, for your support! 🙏🏻