The results are in and today, organizers of the annual Africa Tech Festival, taking place in Cape Town on 14 – 16 November, announced the top ten finalists of the AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition who will battle it out to win the opportunity to represent the African continent in the Startup World Cup on 1 December this year.
Making the announcement, James Williams, Senior Director, Events | Connecting Africa | Informa Tech, remarked: “Congratulations to everyone who entered. We called for the continent’s brightest, most inspiring founders to apply to help build the African innovation ecosystem and they certainly delivered.
“I know I speak for my colleagues, the investors, and judges who will be closely monitoring the pitch competition when I say that Africa’s talent, ingenuity, and unmatched potential are abundant and diverse, and this is clearly represented in this broad array of finalists. It is therefore going to be no small task to select just one winner who will represent the continent at the Startup World Cup Final, held by Pegasus in San Francisco on 1st December.”
Providing insight as to what she will be looking for in the winning pitch, investor, and AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition judge, Keshni Morar of Investable warns contenders to come prepared. Morar will be looking for granular detail in the presentations, with a demonstrable understanding of the market in which the start-up is looking to play or is already active. The depth of the go-to-market strategy too for those start-ups at pre-seed capital, is a vital consideration.
But in short, Morar says: “Like every other serious investor out there, I look for the coherence between the pitch story and the data points. If it’s not there, there’s no chance of us getting involved.”
The top ten looking to win the AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition Final are:
1. AsaanaPay – a payments and rewards platform for minority-owned businesses enabling offline and online payments and unrestricted cash-back rewards to attract and retain customers. Asaana facilitates local and global payments through a variety of channels from mobile wallets and traditional banks to everything in between. Headquartered in Kenya, Asaana services the world.
2. App – Beauty is freedom and beauty is also big business in Africa, which is how Tausi came about. An app that connects beauticians to clients and provides professional hair and make-up and other services to make clients feel fabulous, with a rating system and in-depth onboarding process that is simple to use. Headquartered in Kenya with more than 6,000 registered beauticians on their books and have helped more than 20,000 clients.
3. Bus54 – Based in Nigeria, Bus54 is a mobility technology company providing a platform to aggregate intercity bus transportation in Africa, allowing passengers to search, compare, book, and manage their journeys online. The platform enables transport operators to manage their end-to-end operations from a secure portal with no need for additional investment in IT software or hardware, and an additional channel to sell their tickets.
4. Delta Scan – a specialist engineering inspection, digitization, and BIM company based in South Africa that digitizes the world around us to create powerful analytical 3D models to extract engineering value. The company, based in South Africa, strives to improve efficiency, bring down costs, and provide comprehensive information to make better-informed decisions. Combining cutting-edge aerial platforms and scanning technology together with 3D digitization, artificial intelligence, and engineering analysis principles.
5. Oneway Connect – a cutting-edge job matching and recruitment software prioritizing cultural alignment that is shaping the future of hiring. Beyond traditional CVs, the platform evaluates capabilities and traits, fostering purposeful performers for businesses. At the heart of their mission is creating a fair candidate experience. With a simple click, jobseekers are seamlessly connected to their ideal roles while assessments empower employers to truly understand candidates’ potential beyond mere keywords.
6. Ukwenza VR – a social enterprise based in Kenya that focuses on creating educational Virtual Reality (VR) content to complement classroom learning and offer additional learning on social and environmental issues e.g. conservation and plastic pollution.
We work with schools & educators to create and deliver the content to ensure it meets learning standards that serve the community.
7. Hippocampus Education – Hippocampus is an adaptive tutoring Facebook Messenger bot that provides differentiated instruction and instant feedback that is customized to meet each individual’s learning needs. It acts as a liaison between the lecturer and the student or between the tutor and the student, supporting assessment activities, facilitating a learning environment that meets each student’s learning needs, and providing positive and constructive feedback on the progress and performance of the student.
8. BenaCare – a Kenyan-based social enterprise that delivers affordable clinical and supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses in the comfort of their own homes. They also reduce and re-distribute unpaid care performed by women family caregivers in rural Kenya, by training them on the basics of caregiving like wound care, vitals taking, grooming, ambulation, pressure care, and toileting. In this way, Benacare improves the outcome of the patients taken care of and equips these women with caregiving skills which can then earn them a living.
9. Gradlinc – more than a matchmaker between graduate and employer and vice versa, Gradlinc helps prepare graduates for the workplace from helping with CVs to creating personal brands, and is free to graduates. It is a vital two-way bridge between ‘people’, not jobs and workers, as matching values, and individuality in people – whether the graduate or the employer – builds long-term successful relationships with mutual benefits.
10. Kyanda Africa – seamless payment solutions with easy financial reach, Nairobi-based Kyanda Africa provides safe and easy access to financial and related services simultaneously in an affordable, efficient, and transparent manner for all at all times. They are on a mission to drive down the number of unbanked and underbanked people across Africa.
The AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition Final takes place at the Africa Tech Festival in Auditorium 2 of the CTICC on 16th November from 2 pm to 3.30 pm. An open-to-all feature, the Final will bring a great crowd of founders, tech leaders, and investors to witness who will be crowned the winner. Free entry to start-ups and visitors is available – please see below for further details about registration