Africa to lead the innovation battle


Africa’s tech innovation talent search is off to a good start, based on the success of our recent investor events. The AfricArena Tour is making headway as we uncover the best investment opportunities in the African tech innovation ecosystem. Each investor pitch or startup challenge responds to real-world business problems, giving talented individuals the opportunity to pitch their idea against other startups.

A roundup of AfricArena’s latest roadshow news

In recent weeks, we’ve visited New York City, Paris and Nairobi as part of our roadshow tour.
The New York City event included our first ever cross-Atlantic pitching session from Sebastien Lacour and Cedric Atangana who pitched to nearly 100 members of the United States business community. Our panel of entrepreneurs included Jake Bright, Dale Mathias, Viola Llewellyn and Robert Sheahan.
Next up, still feeling the excitement around AfricArena’s VivaTech partnership announcement, we touched down in Paris for a Bpifrance Hub investor event which featured four incredible African startups:   Thomas Pays from i-Pay, Cedric Atangana from WeCashUp, Maxime Boadji from YellowRelay, and Maximilian Bock from Netwookie Ltd. These individuals, who were part of the AfricArena 2017 startups selection (including the 2017 startup winner) or VivaTech delegation members, faced an audience of local and international investors looking for world-class African talent. They were given the opportunity to present their projects.
After the pitches at the Bpifrance Hub investor event, there was a panel discussion about improving early stage and venture capitalist investment in Africa. Entrepreneurs Jerome Barel, François Delaunay and Christophe Viarnaud shared their experiences in funding successful African-based projects.
At the Nairobi investors event hosted at Mettā, we welcomed 60+ members of the local start-up ecosystem. Daniel Yu (CEO of Sokowatch), Samuel Gikandi (CEO of Africa’s Talking), Maurice Otieno (General Manager of Mettā), and Winnie Odhiambo (Associate Partner at I-Dev International) kicked off our panel discussion before some startups presented.
We saw some great presentations from Art Galore, BeAfrica, Majik Water, Strauss Energy, Cloud9, FlexPay, M-life, Netwookie, Optimetriks and Medbit with the latter team triumphing. Congratulations to the competition winner Medbit, a startup which released an app that lets you find and book medical services from your mobile. Their prize includes flight and accommodation to Cape Town in November this year.

Challenge yourself with AfricArena in 2018

The AfricArena two-day conference will take place in Cape Town on 15 to 16 November 2018. As it stands, plenty of planning and investor backing has already gone into the main event, having received sponsorship and support from international participants. Organisations like Silicon Cape, Saint-Gobain, Air France–KLM, VC4A, Vinci Energies and RCS have shown their support, and local players from African ecosystem like ABAN, French Chamber of Commerce, Bpifrance, La French Tech, Startupbootcamp Africa, SAVCA, and MEST have also come together to make sure the event is a success.
Whether you’re on the lookout for investment or partnership opportunities, AfricArena is the perfect platform to uncover the latest talents or to be discovered. This year the themes are Smart City, Smart Agri, Smart Commerce, Smart Skills, Smart Media and Smart Travel. Each startup representative, if selected from the pre-selection process, will get the chance to pitch their idea to an audience of investors and venture capitalists for the chance to win. To enter, select an AfricArena challenge, and upload your pitch video. Apply for a Tour challenge to be featured at one of the following city’s tours: Casablanca (4 July), Lagos (18 July) and Dakar (19 September). At AfricArena 2018, the final event in Cape Town, you will be able to share the stage with highly-acclaimed panel speakers and engage with other startups in the African innovation ecosystem.

What can AfricArena offer you?

With more than 80 startups and more than 100 global investors to look forward to, the AfricArena 2018 conference will be unleashing some of the continent’s best startups and innovators. By applying to one of our challenges, we can offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase your talent to the world.
The challenges include:
Vinci Energies Challenge: This challenge focuses on how to make energy more accessible in Africa, due to energy efficiency solutions, energy flows, optimization blockchain and artificial intelligence.
RCS Challenge: RCS is looking for a product which is able to secure and store customer ID and authentication credentials to help ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval.
Best of Ecosystem Challenge: This challenge is exclusively hosted by AfricArena, encouraging disruptive startups of each tour’s challenge to pitch to investors and sponsors. The goal of this challenge is to bring a startup from each ecosystem to Cape Town in November, as well as invite startups which already have a market and customer validation or want international exposure to apply to this challenge.
For more information, visit the AfricArena website and register today!


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