Details On Our 5 Challenges – Blog – AfricArena


Ready for a challenge with AfricArena?

Buckle up and stand the chance to showcase your unique idea at the AfricArena 2018 conference. Our teams have spent months preparing for this event, travelling across the globe to promote African tech innovation, handpicking the most talented startup ideas, meeting with investors and sponsors to uncover the best investment opportunities, and, in turn, helping our partners achieve their challenge objectives.

This year’s event organisers expect to welcome more than 80 startups and more than 100 global investors. AfricArena 2018 will showcase some of the continent’s best innovators, and you could be one of them. By applying to one of our challenges, we can offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The challenge options are as follows:

This year, we announced our partnership with VivaTech to solidify our commitment to African innovation. Together, we strive 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. Our 2019 challenge with VivaTech focuses on the AgriTech industry and how artificial intelligence (AI) can generate self-sustaining growth for this industry. AI in agriculture helps with the prediction and monitoring of several tasks, so we’re looking for an AI-based product or service to help businesses achieve the following:

  • Predict and monitor climatic impacts using data, predictive schemes and/or assets
  • Product must be able to integrate with existing systems and infrastructures, including operation in limited connectivity areas, without the need for a significant investment
  • Collaboration between employees and AI regarding the skills needed for the technology
  • Support the funding of local initiatives
  • Generate a self-running growth engine for AgriTech in Africa

The applications that can be considered are connected machines, Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring, big data, remote sensors, image recognition, soil and asset analysis, weather forecast and microfinance.

The RCS Group is hunting for an innovative mind which can help them develop technology that will improve the security of customer information. The objective is to create a system that secures and stores customer identification and authentication credentials in order to ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval. The platform should also digitise the onboarding and customer engagement processes in a remote but secure way across existing and new channels (in-store, online and mobile).

Your solution should include the following:

  • Legislative and security requirements relevant to customer processes, especially in South Africa
  • Access to verified and trusted external data sources (e.g. Department of Home Affairs) to ease customer input
  • Facilitate a once off on-boarding and verification process
  • Product or service should be available in-store, online and via a mobile application
  • Must cater to multiple white labelling requirements


Saint Gobain, the worldwide leader in renovation and home improvement building materials, is looking for a satellite trend analysis solution which can predict urban and climate challenges. This technological innovation will be used to inform the market of solutions required before the end user realises the need themselves. It is advised that you factor in elements such as satellite imaging, big data analysis, trend alerts, smart buildings, comfort needs and energy zoning. Your product is expected to understand geographical changes and human needs, as well as implement the following key factors:

  • The prediction of future opportunities
  • The ability to warn companies of adaptations required for living conditions
  • Automated mapping to existing solutions
  • Automated infographics for customers


As part of their purpose to offer sustainable energy solutions for their industrial customers’ performances, VINCI Energies’ second challenge focuses on industrial and energetic performance and how they can leverage digitalisation for a better optimisation. These key points should be included in your idea:

  • Optimisation of workflow traceability. For example, raw materials for each stage of the process, waste minimisation (with a lean approach), logistics flows, and/or workstation ergonomics
  • The optimising and controlling of energetic consumption


The Air France brand strives to bring people, economies and cultures together, as well as drive economic growth and social progress. To grow their purpose and improve on their customer experience, they are challenging startup innovators to help them build a better, more sustainable and increasingly responsible travel experience in Africa. Here are a few key factors on what they expect from the second Air FranceKLM Challenge.

  • Sustainable and profitable solutions to reduce environmental footprint
  • Innovative products or personalised services for a sustainable customer experience off-board
  • A way to help preserve wildlife and biodiversity, with a positive impact on local communities


Do you have what it takes?

The AfricArena two-day conference will take place in Cape Town on 15 to 16 November 2018. Each startup representative, if selected during 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. All startups interested can upload and submit their pitches according to an AfricArena 2018 challenge. For questions, email or register online today. We look forward to seeing you there!


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