AfricArena’s Open Innovation Tech Challenges is Now Open for Application


AfricArena, the largest African tech ecosystem accelerator in the world, has opened applications to a number of innovation challenges for startups ahead of its Cape Town-based AfricArena conference, which will take place in November 2018.

The event which is scheduled for November 15-16 and will be held in partnership with Wesgro and Silicon Cape, and all these challenges are looking for startups that would pitch at the event.

The Tech Challenges

The African Tour Challenges: In May, AfricArena announced the launch of an “African Tour” to pre-select the best disruptive startups across Africa that would be flown to Cape Town, undergo training and after which they would pitch at the event in November.

The cross-sector challenge is open to all startups with an existing product or service, market, and customer validation as well as viable growth and traction. Startups in Nigeria have until July 8 to apply, while the pre-selection event in Lagos would take place on  July 18 and is expected to be live streamed on international investor platform Euroquity.

Vinci Energies Challenge: One of the November event sponsors, Vinci energies has launched its own challenge that will see 3 startups each from Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria attend AfricArena where they will attend pitching workshops, and ultimately pitch to investors.

The challenge is looking for disruptive solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain to provide energy efficiency solutions and also quantify, manage and optimize energy exchange flows at the microgrid or national grid level. The winner of this challenge will get to work on a mutual proof-of-concept (POC) with Vinci Energies, as well as receive the opportunity to pitch to the company’s local and corporate level representatives. Applications are open here for Nigerian startups until 1st July.

The RCS Group (RCS) Challenge: Also another sponsor of the event, the RCS group challenges would also see 3 startups from each challenge selected to attend AfricArena for training and pitching sessions.

The RCS Group is searching for entrepreneurs that have a solution able to secure and store customer identification and authentication credentials in order to ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval. The winning startup will have the opportunity to partner with RCS in the integration of their solution with the company’s existing system. Applications are open here.

AirFrance KLM Challenge: Air France KLM has also launched an open innovation challenge, looking for solutions aimed at Joon, their new lower-cost subsidiary that is mainly focused on the disruptive Artificial Intelligence and the onboard connectivity. This challenge is aimed at innovators with solutions that either enhance passenger’s personal devices’ experience or the customer on-board connected experience. Applications are open here.

Saint-Gobain Challenge: Saint-Gobain is looking for a satellite trend analysis solution able to predict urban and climate challenges in order to inform the market of solutions required before the end user realizes the need themselves. The solution provided may rely on elements such as satellite imaging, Big Data Analysis, Trend alerts, Smart Buildings, Comfort needs or Energy zoning but understand geographical changes and human needs. Applications are open here.

AfricArena recently announced a partnership with French VivaTech, which will involve the two partnering to run a joint challenge for African startups and will see the top three finalists pitch at the Cape Town summit. The prize is sponsored by French President Macron’s Presidential Council for Africa, but details of that challenge are yet to be announced.

Aside the prizes to be given by the organizers, the winners of all these challenges will be flown to AfricArena in Cape Town, where they will have the chance to pitch to hundreds of investors, partners, and sponsors present.

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