Out of 10 contestants who will be competing at the first-ever Africa NetPreneur Prize set up by Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, four of them are Nigerians.
The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) for African entrepreneurs was created by the former Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, who stepped down recently.
Ma had set up the award in 2017 to award USD 10 Mn and recognise 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years. And the very first African edition is taking place this year, of which Nigerians are dominating.
The 10 finalists include 4 Nigerian founders, two each from Egypt and Rwanda, and one apiece from Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia.
The 4 selected Nigerian entrepreneurs include:
- Ayodeji Arikawe, Co-founder of agri-tech startup, Thrive Agric;
- Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO of blood delivery service, LifeBank;
- Dr. Tosan J. Mogbeyiteren, Founder of childhood health startup, Black Swan; and
- Chibuzo Opara, Co-founder of cloud-based pharmaceuticals platform, DrugStoc.
- Waleed Abd El Rahman, CEO, Mumm (Egypt);
- Dr. Omar Sakr, CEO of Nawah-Scientific (Egypt);
- Mahmud Johnson, CEO of J-Palm (Liberia);
- Kevine Kagirimpundu, CEO of UZURI K&Y (Rwanda);
- Christelle Kwizera, founder of Water Access (Rwanda); and
- Moulaye Taboure, CEO of Afrikrea. (Cote D’Ivoire).
The 10 finalists will now do battle in the final pitch competition scheduled to take place in Ghana next month. They will be competing for a share of at least USD 1 Mn in prize money.
The finalists are expected to pitch in front of 4 judges namely Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Group Founder; Ibukun Awosika, First Bank of Nigeria Chairman; Joe Tsai, current Executive Vice-Chairman of Alibaba Group, and of course, the Chinese billionaire himself.
They will also have the opportunity to access Netpreneur’s community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices, and resources.
Ma says the Netpreneur Prize is an Initiative aimed at “identifying top entrepreneurs from across the continent, not only to reward them but to inspire a whole new generation of potential game-changers for Africa.”
And at the moment, Nigeria is the favourite to produce the winner of the first Africa NetPreneur Prize.
Featured Image Courtesy: Alzila