Calling all African start-ups – time to claim your spot in the continent’s most prestigious pitch competition with a USD 1 million investment on offer to the winner of the Grand Finale to be held in San Francisco.
Johannesburg, 10 September 2023 – Wait for it…AfricaIgnite, formerly AHUB, Africa Tech Festival’s flagship event for the African continent’s start-ups and innovators, has been announced as the host for the African leg of the globally prestigious Start-Up World Cup 2023, and 10 African start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch for a spot at the grand finale to be held in San Francisco, USA on 1 December 2023.
USD1 million up for grabs – The AfricaIgnite Start-up Pitch showcase will take place at Africa Tech Festival in November in Cape Town, South Africa. To enter, African early-stage start-ups and scale-ups with seed fundings of up to $15million will need to apply by 15 October. The finalists, to be unveiled on 30 October, will then need to make their way to Cape Town and pitch in front of hundreds of investors and tech leaders on 16 November.
The winner of Africa Tech Festival’s pitch competition will then be invited to compete in the grand finale of the Startup World Cup, to be held in San Francisco on 1 December, for that impressive 1 million US dollar investment, in front of industry greats such as ABC’s Shark Tank Barbara Corcoran, Sundeep Jain, Chief Product Officer at Uber, Daniel Sturman CTO at Roblox and more.
Since launching in 2016, the festival’s start-up platform has been committed to supporting the growth of Africa’s nascent entrepreneurs and innovators. The interest in the offering has grown significantly to the point where AfricaIgnite has now taken on a life-force of its own.
James Williams, Director, Events | Connecting Africa | Informa Tech: “Africa’s bright and forward-thinking minds need a platform to network, get inspired, and co-build a stronger tech start-Up investment ecosystem, which is exactly what AfricaIgnite offers. As Africa Tech Festival, we are excited to be partnering with The Startup World Cup to offer our African colleagues the opportunity they deserve to present their businesses on a global stage. This is a very exciting partnership, and the first, we hope, of many as the continent’s innovation sector gathers momentum.”
Investment by the numbers
In 2022, Africa was the only region where start-up investment grew with around USD4.8 billion put into around 1,000 businesses. That said though, this sum still only represents a paltry 1.2% of all start-up funding raised globally. However, this is predicted to change quite rapidly in the years ahead as the continent’s entrepreneur, start-up and SMME ecosystem fully embraces the digital revolution and connectivity, whilst Africans create the solutions to many of their own, and the world’s challenges.
In the 2021 – 2022 period, 37% of investment was channelled to the FinTech space, but its dominance is now being challenged by innovation and new business ideas that solve Africa’s energy and waste difficulties. Other sectors that are attracting interest also include the likes of the telecoms, media and entertainment space, logistics and transport, retail, agriculture, and food, as well as the growing proliferation of deep tech.
“We are very happy to partner up with AfricaTech Festival for the Startup World Cup South Africa Regional and are delighted by the quality and enthusiasm of the start-ups who are competing,” said Anis Uzzaman, Founder and CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures, who created the Startup World Cup competition in 2016. “Each year we have been able to reach more entrepreneurs in more cities around the world and, in turn, connect more innovation ecosystems to Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.
“We hope this partnership creates new valuable opportunities for the competing start-ups from Africa.”
In good company
Africa Tech Festival also holds its own when it comes to the investor community, with databases of several thousand investors and venture capitalists predominantly spanning Africa and the United States, as well as a strong community of founders, entrepreneurs, and start-ups.
Aside from the exciting early-stage start-up Pitch Showcase, AfricaIgnite in 2023 is looking to up the ante with a curation of content that is exciting, informative, and definitely going to take participants places. The AfricaIgnite space located in the AfricaTech Hall will be a centre of activity with an offering of excellent networking and matchmaking between founders and investors, a start-up marketplace and demo area (no pitching required), along with a host of dedicated workshops and masterclasses presented by top professionals.
Delegates, start-ups, and those considering taking a leap of faith into the new world of business, can explore content that covers useful topics such as what to expect from year one as a founder – what to do, get good at and what to ignore; the power of collaboration in building a global company; perfecting the next “X”-tech for future generations; founding, funding and running your start-up in economically challenging times; concept to company – demystifying the entrepreneurial process plus a raft of funding talks and presentations, as well as the all-important insight into exit planning 101!
Never has the time been more right to head to Cape Town 13 – 16 November to be part of the action at Africa Tech Festival, the world’s largest and most influential Africa-focused technology, telecoms, and media gathering. In 2023, expect big things to happen in this space.
For more information, please see website here: Africa Tech Festival 2023 – The Home of AfricaCom & AfricaTech
To apply for the pitch competition, please click here: Africa Tech Festival 2023 – pitch competition
View all ticket options for Africa Tech Festival, including start-up passes, here
To register for media accreditation please use this link: Press Pass or see the Africa Tech Festival website and follow the links to our press zone.
(Please note that all requests are adjudicated and there may be some delay before you hear back from us).
For media enquiries, interviews and/or images please contact: Kaz Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +27 (0) 82 339 1199.
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