Unveiling the Innovators: The Race to Represent Africa at the Startup World Cup
The annual Africa Tech Festival, scheduled to unfold in the vibrant city of Cape Town from November 14 to 16, has unveiled its top ten finalists for the AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition. These finalists will compete for the coveted opportunity to represent the African continent at the prestigious Startup World Cup, slated for December 1, 2023.
Celebrating Africa's Innovators
In a momentous announcement, James Williams, Senior Director of Events at Connecting Africa, Informa Tech, expressed his congratulations to all the applicants. He recognized the wealth of talent, creativity, and potential among Africa's founders, emphasizing their role in nurturing the continent's innovation ecosystem.
Williams noted, "Africa's entrepreneurial spirit, resourcefulness, and immense potential are brilliantly reflected in the diverse array of finalists that emerged from our call. Selecting just one winner to represent Africa at the Startup World Cup Final in San Francisco on December 1 will be a challenging task."
Unpacking Winning Pitches: The Investor's Perspective
Keshni Morar, an investor and one of the judges for the AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition, shared insights into what she will be looking for in the winning pitch. Morar stressed the importance of comprehensive presentations with a deep understanding of the target market, especially for startups in the pre-seed capital stage. She emphasized the need for alignment between the pitch's narrative and supporting data, asserting that the absence of this alignment would deter investor interest.
Morar stated, "As a serious investor, I seek the coherence between the pitch story and the data points. It's a non-negotiable factor for our involvement."
Meet the Top Ten Finalists
The top ten startups competing for the opportunity to represent Africa at the Startup World Cup are:
AsaanaPay is a payments and rewards platform designed to benefit minority-owned businesses. It facilitates offline and online payments, along with unrestricted cash back rewards to attract and retain customers. AsaanaPay enables both local and global payments through various channels, from mobile wallets to traditional banks.
Tausi App connects beauticians with clients, offering professional hair and makeup services. The platform incorporates a rating system and an easy-to-use onboarding process. With more than 6000 registered beauticians and over 20,000 clients served, Tausi App thrives in Kenya's beauty and wellness sector.
Based in Nigeria, Bus54 is a mobility technology company that aggregates intercity bus transportation services in Africa. It allows passengers to search, compare, book, and manage their journeys online. The platform empowers transport operators to streamline their operations and ticket sales, all from a secure portal, eliminating the need for additional IT investments.
Delta Scan is a specialized engineering inspection, digitization, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) company located in South Africa. Their mission is to digitize the physical world to create powerful analytical 3D models that enhance decision-making processes. Combining aerial platforms, scanning technology, 3D digitization, artificial intelligence, and engineering analysis, Delta Scan contributes to improved efficiency and cost reduction.
Oneway Connect provides a cutting-edge job matching and recruitment software that prioritizes cultural alignment. The platform assesses capabilities and traits, going beyond traditional CVs. By fostering purposeful performers and creating a fair candidate experience, Oneway Connect connects job seekers to their ideal roles seamlessly.
Ukwenza VR is a Kenyan social enterprise that focuses on creating educational Virtual Reality (VR) content. This content complements classroom learning and offers insights into social and environmental issues such as conservation and plastic pollution. Collaborating with schools and educators, Ukwenza VR ensures the content adheres to learning standards.
Hippocampus Education introduces an adaptive tutoring Facebook Messenger bot. This bot provides differentiated instruction and instant feedback tailored to individual learning needs. It acts as a bridge between educators and students, supporting assessment activities and providing constructive feedback on progress.
BenaCare, based in Kenya, is a social enterprise that delivers affordable clinical and supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses in the comfort of
their homes. They also train women family caregivers in rural Kenya, empowering them with caregiving skills and reducing the unpaid care burden. BenaCare improves patient outcomes while equipping women with livelihood opportunities.
Gradlinc is more than a matchmaker between graduates and employers. It offers comprehensive preparation for graduates entering the workforce, assisting with CVs and personal branding. This platform builds connections based on values and individuality, fostering long-term relationships with mutual benefits.
Kyanda Africa, based in Nairobi, provides seamless payment solutions for financial services. Their mission is to make financial and related services accessible, efficient, and transparent for everyone. Kyanda Africa aims to reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked individuals across Africa.
The Grand Finale
The AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition Final is set to take place at the Africa Tech Festival in the Auditorium 2 of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on November 16, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. The Africa Tech Festival, with the support of esteemed partners, continues to be a beacon of innovation, fostering a thriving environment for African startups and entrepreneurs. This event encapsulates the spirit of progress and the promise of Africa's bright future.