AfricArena is buzzing with excitement around our new, strategic partnership with VivaTech.
On 26 to 28 May, we attended the VivaTech event in Paris where we formally announced our partnership. As part of VivaTech’s decision to expand their African footprint, together we will promote African innovation and bridge the gap between European and African entrepreneurial and investor arenas.
Our partnership will result in an upcoming VivaTech AfricArena challenge and mutual delegations. This will give us the opportunity to support the new generation of entrepreneurs by helping them launch new products and services that will improve the lives of Africans, while conquering global markets.
“As part of our Afric@Tech focus this year, we are thrilled to partner with AfricArena and lay the foundations of a long-term and ambitious collaboration. This partnership is aiming at supporting and promoting more startups from the African continent and paying tribute to the vibrant energy of Africa’s promising entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Maxime Baffert, Co-Managing Director of VivaTech.
With African tech excellence being the highlight of the year, President of France Emmanuel Macron announced that the French Development Agency would launch a €65 million investment programme where it can invest €30k to €50k into each startup. On the back of the partnership news, the event also introduced a ‘Best of AfricArena’ battlefield pitch: a competition between 11 global startups which were selected in 2017 and 2018.
The startups included Droppa (2017 winner – Leroy Merlin), WeCashUp (2017 winner – AirFrance), The Sun Exchange (2017 winner – Schneider Electric), CoinAfrique (2017 startup), PayGenius (2017 startup), Sendy (2017 startup), Reuniwatt (La Reunion – AfricArena Tour), Story Enjoy (La Reunion – AfricArena Tour), The Good Tree (2018 selection) and Africa’s Talking (2018 selection). As a result, WeCashUp ended up winning the battlefield pitch. Other VivaTech wins include Cape Town-based startup The Sun Exchange, which won the Afric@Tech energy blockchain challenge, and a Johannesburg-based AI startup, ‘Vizibiliti Insight Africa, which won the Verizon challenge with a credit scoring solution.
The AfricArena Tour Challenge continues to take place at several tech capitals across the globe. Entrants can select a challenge from the current challenges and upload their pitch to stand a chance to present their idea in front of international judges in their hometown. The upcoming tour dates include Nairobi (13 June), Casablanca (4 July), Lagos (18 July) and Dakar (19 September). The winning pitch entrants will be flown down to the final conference and these winners will be accompanied by a VivaTech delegation.
What to expect at AfricArena 2018
The VivaTech event was a clear indication of Africa’s world-class talent which will be competing at the AfricArena 2018 conference, taking place on 15 and 16 November 2018 in Cape Town. Based on the success of the AfricArena 2017 event, visitors can expect more than 80 startups with more than 100 global investors. Last year’s event saw more than over 450 attendees watching over 40 speakers and witnessing more than US$2 million worth of deals being made.
The first edition of AfricArena represented an opportunity to explore tomorrow’s trends while unleashing some of the continent’s best startups and innovators. If you have what it takes to solve a challenge defined by our sponsors, apply to an AfricArena Challenge below and stand a chance to win.
AirFrance-KLM Challenge: AirFrance-KLM has launched a new challenge on how technological innovations (artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.) could enrich airline Joon’s customer journey, a new lower-cost subsidiary.
Vinci Energies Challenge: This challenge focuses on how to make energy more accessible in Africa, thanks to energy efficiency solutions, energy flows, optimisation blockchain and AI.
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.
Nairobi, Casablanca and Lagos Ecosystem Challenges: These challenges are looking for the most disruptive startups in Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco to come and pitch at the AfricArena Conference in Cape Town. The conference will take place on 15 and 16 November 2018.
For more information, visit the AfricArena website and register today!