2019 is here and of course, every startup would like to hit the ground running. What better way to do this than to explore a list of important pitch competitions for the year 2019?
In 2018, startups took part in a host of pitch competitions scheduled in several locations across the continent. All year long, these events promised funding, media exposure and a chance to network and fine-tune ideas.
2019 won’t be any different. And a few important startup pitch competitions have already announced their dates.
But before the list, here’s an important heads up: most pitch competitions will hold before the fourth quarter of the year.
So now that that’s clear, here are some of the most important startup pitch competitions for 2019!
Note: This list is for pitch competitions only. It does not include fellowships or accelerator programs.
Founded by the Jack Ma Foundation, the Netpreneur Prize is a $10 million fund for African tech startups. The Netpreneur Prize aims to promote and fund African entrepreneurs developing tech-driven solutions to critical issues in Africa. The competition aims to provide $10 million funding for 100 startups over the next 10 years.
Announced last year, the first pitch competition is slated for the second half of 2019. However, applications will open in January 2019 with April as the deadline.
Seedstars is another hugely important startup pitch competition holding in 2019. Organised by Seedstars World, this pitch competition is actually made up of several competitions holding across a few African countries. An Africa regional competition will also hold and finally the grand finale, the Seedstars Summit, will hold in 2020.
The country and regional events promise startups funding. But they also guarantee a slot in Seedstars domestic tech hub in these countries.
Mest Africa is a Pan-African startup pitch competition. The competition promises $50,000 equity investment from Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), as well as mentoring and network support.
Mest Africa also holds regional competitions in countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
Venture Clash is a $5m pitch competition for innovative early-stage companies. Organised by an investment firm, Connecticut Innovations, Venture Clash is a global competition. Accepted pitches primarily come from companies in four fields: HealthTech sector, FinTech, IoT, and InsureTech fields. To be eligible though, startups have to be in business for at least 12 months.
Like Mest and Seedstars, Venture Clash holds regional events. The last one in Africa was held in Lagos Nigeria.
Applications will be open in February 2019 and will close in June 2019.
Accenture Africa’s Top 30 Tech Startups
Organised by global consulting behemoth, Accenture, the competition aims to identify top tech startups on the African continent. The competition focuses on identifying young companies developing innovative solutions to problems in business, government, and civil society.
Winners of the competition get access to Accenture’s Open Innovation Network as well as other perks.
2019 VC4A Venture Showcase – Series A
The VC4A showcase allows 8 startups the chance to pitch their ideas at the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit. The last event held in November 2018.
Participating startups get to pitch their ideas, products, and innovations to an audience of over 300 investors, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts. The contest is open for startups looking to raise between $250 and $5 million.
Organised by Nigeria’s very own TechPoint tech media, the TechPoint Build is a $10,000 startup pitch contest. It held for the first time in January 2018. The contest is scheduled to hold once again on January 26, 2018, and applications are currently open.
TechCrunch Disrupt Africa
Organised by the hugely famous TechCrunch media platform, TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is in its third year on the continent. And it seems the $25,000 contest is here to stay.
The last edition held in December in Lagos, Nigeria. Although there’s no confirmation, the next edition will probably hold the same period.
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