This past week, the African startup ecosystem played host to a number of tech and entrepreneurship-focused events. From pitching competitions in West Africa to tech seminars held in parts of Southern Africa that are geared towards sharing information and ideas, the ecosystem appears to be on the right trajectory for growth and further development. As always, our weekly installment of Startup Events Glimpses has got you covered just in case some of these events slipped in under your radar. Now, here are highlights from some of the major startup events that were held on the African continent in the last seven days.
Seedstars Dakar Held In Senegal
The Senegalese leg of the Seedstars World pitching competition was held on Friday, 7th September 2018, at Sonatel, in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. The event which was put together by Seedstars in collaboration with Sonatel featured nine top startups from Senegal who had made the cut on the backs of meeting specific requirements as laid out by the organizers of the competition.
The participating startups pitched their ideas before a jury that brought together some of the notable names in the sector, as well as an audience that included investors and some of the big names in the industry.
Taking a cue from fintech startup, MaTontine; the winners of the previous edition of the competition, another fintech team, TownPay, were adjudged the winners as they clinched first place ahead of Lives and Paps, who finished as first and second runner-ups respectively. On the back of the victory, TownPay will now represent Senegal at the Seedstars Summit slated for next year in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they will have a shot at winning up to USD 1 Mn in equity investment.
The Breast Cancer Hackathon Idea Pitch Held In Nigeria
This event was the grand finale of a competition that brought together a number of selected teams who were afforded the opportunity to pitch ideas on the use of technology in the prevention of breast cancer. The event which was held at Akure Tech Hub, in Ondo State, Nigeria, featured pitches from a number of tech teams who were looking to woo the jury, as well as the audience, with their offerings – which largely bordered on technology-driven solutions to the terminal ailment that is breast cancer.
Blockchain-For-Energy Summit Took Place In Nigeria
The program was tagged: “Blockchain Technology in Energy Access Finance For Africa,” the date was 5th September, and the location was Lagos, Nigeria. The event drew attendance from entrepreneurs, financial institutions, capital market specialists, developers, investors, government officials, enthusiasts, and a number of other individuals.
The event featured discussions on the subject of tackling the country’s current struggles with electricity by harnessing the potentials of blockchain-powered Solar PV technology. Speakers at the summit highlighted the possibilities of the technology in bridging the current energy deficit in the country, unlocking native finance by displacing FX risks, providing data consistency, increasing transparency, and also the ability of the technology to beat down on costs.
Leaderex Conference Held In South Africa
On Tuesday, 4th September 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, the Leaderex conference was held; an event that featured a number of speakers from various fields related to business – from entrepreneurship to angel investing and digital marketing. Speakers at the event included such personalities as Gidon Novick; Founder of Kulula.com, Ketso Gordhan; CEO of SA SME Fund, as well as comedian, John Vlismas. The event drew attendance from entrepreneurs and startup founders who can be thought to be looking to leverage some of the knowledge gained from the conference with a view to fostering business growth.
Pitch & Present Workshop Held In South Africa
This workshop was basically an intensive course which revolved around mastering the underlying concepts that govern delivering kickass pitches to the amazement of investors, boardroom directors, and even competition judges. The workshop was put together by Louise Mitchell of “Take My Word,” and it was hosted at the French South African Tech Labs on 5th September 2018. Participants at the workshop were exposed to step-by-step guides on how to improve their business pitches.
Hack-The-Big-Four Event Held In Kenya
This event was held on Saturday, 8th September 2018, at the National Museum in Nairobi, Kenya. It drew interest and attendance from young ICT innovators, volunteer mentors, investors, as well as entrepreneurs and experts, who were involved in a brainstorming session, as technological solutions were explored for some of the problems bedeviling the big four sectors: manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and housing.
Think Tank Innovators Competition Information Session Held In Zimbabwe
This information session brought together representatives from the duo of Nicoz Diamond Insurance and BOOST, who engaged with potential participants of the project in discussions which revolved around getting through the application process successfully, as well as a heads-up on the concept and mechanisms of intellectual property. The event took place on Wednesday, 5th September, at the campus of M.S.U Graduate School of Business Leadership, Commerce and Law, in Gweru, Zimbabwe.
African Green Revolution Forum Held In Rwanda
Kigali also hosted the important African Green Revolution Forum at the Kigali Convention Centre with a high delegation of visitors with the host President Paul Kagame hosting African misters holding the Agriculture portfolio in their various countries. Former British Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair also graced the occasion. Special focus on innovation in Agribusiness was highlighted with various startups displaying their innovations at the convention center as well as supporting the role of women entrepreneurs in food and agribusiness and helping them secure financing. During the same event, 23 startups took part in the Pitch Agrihack 2018 offering prize money and technical assistance to various categories of startups, early-stage businesses, and women-only groups.
Women In Tech Incubator Launched In Kenya
Standard Chartered Bank in conjunction with Strathmore University @iBizAfrica incubator also launched the Women in Tech Incubator in Kenya. This program supports female-led entrepreneurial teams by providing them with training, mentorship and seed funding up to USD 10k for five winners to invest in their business. The areas of interest selected were: Agribusiness, Education, IT, Mobile Solutions, Digital Banking, E-Commerce, E-Health and Fintech. The finalists would be announced on 19th November 2018.
iHub Hosted Outreach Workshop In Kenya
While still in Kenya, IHUB this week also conducted an outreach workshop in Kisumu. Dubbed the “Traction Camp” and running for three days from 4th to 6th September this was geared to helping startups keep customers happy after winning them and getting them. Most businesses spend too much effort in wooing the customer but after they have said yes, little is planned to retain them or buy their loyalty. This, in turn, affects the business since they don’t earn repeat purchases. Losing customers quickly shortens their lifetime value and increases the customer acquisition costs for the businesses that prove to be costly in the long run.
Meanwhile, the coastal city of Mombasa had Swahili Box launch their second Python Bootcamp that started on September 7th and scheduled to run for four months taking two hours in the evening. The areas of specialization to be covered include web development, data science, scripting and game development. They have also planned to cover topics on entrepreneurship, design thinking as well as portfolio building.