20 African Startups Share $350k At Africarena 2020

Strengthening their position as the main accelerator of the African tech ecosystem, the AfricArena summit has announced 20 startups from 18 African countries as winners in the ecosystem and open innovation challenges. The winners walk away with combined prizes of over $350,000 in cash and AWS credits, along with a few lucky winners who will receive tickets to Viva Technology in Paris next year.

For its fourth edition, AfricArena hosted this year’s annual summit as a hybrid event, both in person at Workshop 17 in Cape Town and virtually via its AfricArena Air web platform and an innovative new mobile app. — AfricArena Wired.

Read also: Why Some VCs Prefer To Work With First-Time Founders

Braving strong economic headwinds and managing current health and safety demands, AfricArena concluded its annual summit, bringing together key players in the African tech ecosystem through a series of hybrid in-person and virtual events. 

From 23 to 26 November 2020, AfricArena 2020 saw 34 of Africa’s most promising startups, ranging from Seed to Series B / Growth, take the stage at Workshop 17 in Cape Town (with measures in place to ensure the compliance with health and safety standards), to present their solutions to the various challenges of open innovation sponsored by Bpifrance, AirFrance / KLM, Ozow, Viva Technology and the French Embassy.

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The four-day conference was also marked by ten keynote speeches from tech ecosystem heavyweights and a dozen panel discussions bringing together top minds from the tech, business and investment sectors. Opened by the French Minister of Digital Affairs, Cédric O, the main speakers were Robert Paddock, co-founder of the Valenture Institute and of GetSmarter (one of the biggest releases in Africa), Zach George of Startupbootcamp, AfriTech and Nedbank VC , Siby Diabira from PROPARCO, Lelemba Phiri from Africa Trust Group and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (co-founder, Andela, Flutterwave and Future Africa), an African maverick specializing in tech start-ups.

The winning startups

Casky (Morocco) won the “Scale from Africa to Europe Challenge” from Bpifrance; Kusini Water (South Africa) won the “AirFrance / KLM Challenge” for its technological innovations in water analysis and purification; and SmartWage (South Africa) won first prize for the “Future of work challenge” from Viva Technology.

As part of the “Challenge of 1000”, which was sponsored by the French Embassy: Mellowvan / Mellowcabs won the “Smart Cities” category; My Pregnancy Journey won the “Impact” category; and Kudoti won the award in the “Future of Africa” category.

The AfricArena “Best of Ecosystem winners” tour included:

CloudFret (Morocco)

TaskMoby (Ethiopia)

Oze (Nigeria)

Circle (Egypt)

Enova Robotics (Tunisia)

Yego (Rwanda)

BezoMoney (Ghana)

Seekewa (Ivory Coast)

FoodSasa (Tanzania)

Yusudi (Kenya)

Maad (Senegal)

Tripplo (South Africa, Johannesburg)

3DIMO (South Africa — Cape Town)

This year, a unique challenge was launched in partnership with the fintech growth start-up, Ozow. Ozow was looking for an application / proof of concept (MVP) that demonstrates the most innovative use of the Ozow Payment API and related technologies. The three finalists appeared in front of co-founder and director of R&D, Mitchan Adams, and the two finalists each received ZAR 25,000, while the winner, Lebogang Nkosi, received ZAR 100,000 in cash.

Discover AfricArena in the palm of your hand!

The new AfricArena Wired platform is the place where the world of African tech start-ups connects and shares their knowledge. This community and knowledge base connects the founders, investors, partners, mentors and actors of the African ecosystem. Users can watch videos on demand from this year’s summit, connect with a community of founders, investors, companies and advisors, and get the latest ecosystem news.

For more information on AfricArena Wired:

The AfricArena Wired app is available on iOS and Android.

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