The hottest young tech companies from across sub-Saharan Africa will be competing to be crowned the continent’s best startup on 11 December at TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa in partnership with Facebook.
The event will unfold in Lagos, Nigeria following the breakout success of last year’s Startup Battlefield Africa in Nairobi, Kenya,
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is looking to identify Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs.
Competitors will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of 2017 overall winner, Lori Systems from Kenya, which has built a logistics platform that is revolutionising the cargo-transport value chain in Africa.
The overall winning startup’s founders will be awarded $25,000 in cash plus a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019.
This is a valuable boost for the winner in a continent where funding—particularly venture capital investment—is in short supply.
Last year the competition highlighted how technology is optimising supply chains, increasing access to education, strengthening farmers’ revenues and so much more. This year, many of the innovations centre on cryptocurrencies, blockchain and their role in helping the unbanked in Africa to access a broad range of services previously unavailable.
“In a continent facing a crisis with antiquated banking technologies, low rate of financial inclusion, poor confidence in the banking system, and high remittance costs, cryptocurrencies could well take off,” says Mike Butcher, Editor at Large, TechCrunch. “Nigerians account for the world’s third largest holdings of bitcoin, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, after Russia and New Zealand.”
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa will take place in front of a live audience and top judges, and the show will be covered on the TechCrunch platforms. The judges will have to select a winner to be dubbed; “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup.”
Battlefield Africa will also feature panel discussions that explore the best tech in Africa and how the technology investment landscapes is changing. The first two speakers announced for the event offer direct knowledge about investing Silicon Valley money in the local ecosystem:
- Omobola Johnson is a senior partner at TLcom Capital and the former Minister of Communication Technology for Nigeria. Her vast knowledge of the startup investing landscape comes from her 25-year tenure at Accenture where she served as the managing director.
- Lexi Novitske is the principal investment officer for Singularity Investments where she is responsible for managing investments in the firm’s Africa portfolio.
Notable companies that launched on TechCrunch’s global stage include Vurb, Trello, Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, Tripit, Redbeacon, Qwiki, Getaround, and Soluto.
The 763 startups that have participated since the first competition, TC40 in 2007 have raised $8.2 billion, while 102 have been acquired or have gone public as of December 2017.