An overview of the AfricArena Tour 2018 – Bring on the conference!

What a success! We’ve spent three exciting months travelling to various tech capitals to meet and select some of the most unique, leading visionaries and visit startups across the globe. The winning startups of these events will present their ideas at the AfricArena 2018 conference on 15 and 16 November in Cape Town. They have been hand-picked and will be battling it out to win an investment opportunity of a lifetime.

Over these past few months, our team had the privilege of watching intensive pitch battles on some of the most disruptive ideas from startup representatives of the moment. Each successful event led us to a stand-out concept that deserved a place in the final. Here are the winning startups of each event:

Mauritius, 3 May

We kicked off our pitching tour at Turbine, a startup incubator located in Mauritius. This event couldn’t have started off on a better foot, as we stretched out our stay one day longer and stopped off in La Reunion at Le Village for another busy pitching event. With many innovative startups to choose from in Mauritius, TravelBudds was the triumphant startup of the day. Represented by Arielle Meyer, TravelBudds is a mobile application that acts as a travel diary. Now you can follow your friends or favourite bloggers around the globe, and use their best travel tips to organise your trips. You will also be able to share your experiences on the app.

La Reunion, 4 May

After our trip to Mauritius, we touched down in La Reunion at a venue called Le Village, straight after the pitching battles at Turbine. Already excited from the success of the first event, we were exposed to a handful of disruptive African startups. The startup which conquered the battlefield and pitched their way into our hearts was Story Enjoy, manned by Constance Idrac. This creative concept was designed for families, allowing you to find any storybook in a digital library and film yourself reading it. Children from across the world will have access to this video, which can be viewed on a mobile device or a laptop.

Nairobi, 12 June

At this event in Mettā, we reunited with some of the startups which came to the inaugural conference in Cape Town last year. As we expected, the Kenyan ecosystem was vibrant and the event was filled with talented, entrepreneurial minds. After many panel discussions and pitch battles, the winner of this event went to Medbit, a startup which released a health-tech solution that allows healthcare recipients to access and book healthcare providers and facilities in an intuitive, easy to use manner. Congratulations Jesse Kimotho for representing this incredible startup, we look forward to seeing you at the final in Cape Town.

Casablanca, 4 July

Casablanca brought the heat as we kicked off an event to an audience of roughly 100 entrepreneurs, corporates and VINCI Energies clients. The event was hosted by La Factory, a company which accelerates the collaboration between tech startups and big corporates in Africa. The location already set the stage for the day. Apart from the very insightful panel discussions, networking conversations and more, the startup talent blew us away. The winner was Eko-Gest by Youssef Chaqor. This business concept is an ecological solution aiming to collect, valorise and transform edible oil into biofuel.

Lagos, 18 July

This event was particularly memorable as it pushed the boundaries of African ecosystem innovation. The event took place at MEST Incubator and it welcomed a full-house of entrepreneurs and investors, sponsors and startups, and a panel of speakers who kept us on our toes. After a jam-packed day, the winning startup was TNC Stories, represented by Olawale Adetula. TNC Stories is a mobile application which allows you to read five-minute news stories which are made up of short text messages. The chats allow you to make up (or store) your own stories, making it easier for users to catch up on the latest news.

A big thank you

From the buzz around our VivaTech partnership to each individual pitch event, we’d like to thank the startups, challenge partners, sponsors, speakers and investors for making the AfricArena Tour possible for us. Together with VivaTech, we will continue to celebrate African ecosystem excellence and bridge the gap between European and African entrepreneurial and investor arenas.

Get ready for the action

Based on the talent we’ve seen and worked with on tour, we can honestly say that visitors are in for a real treat this year. If you’re a startup with an award-winning idea, a speaker with an interesting topic, a corporate with an unusual challenge or if you simply want to learn more about the events, visit the AfricArena website.

The first edition of AfricArena represented an opportunity to explore tomorrow’s trends while unleashing some of the continent’s best startups and innovators. If you have what it takes to solve a challenge defined by our sponsors, apply to an AfricArena Challenge below and stand a chance to win.

For more information on how to get involved as a startup, investor or partner, please send your request to contact@africarena.co.za or register online today. The final challenges are as follows:

 

Air France–KLM Challenge 1: Air France–KLM has launched a new challenge on how technological innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) could enrich airline Joon (Air France–KLM’s new lower-cost subsidiary) with its customer journey.

Air France–KLM Challenge 2: Air France–KLM is looking for an innovative solution that could help build and enrich the travel experience in Africa.

Saint-Gobain Challenge: Saint-Gobain is looking for a satellite trend analysis solution that is able to predict urban and climate challenges.

 

VINCI Energies Challenge: This challenge focuses on how to make energy more accessible in Africa, using energy efficiency solutions such as energy flows, blockchain and AI.

RCS Challenge: RCS is looking for a product which is able to secure and store customer ID and authentication credentials to help ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval.

 

Dakar Ecosystem Challenge: We are looking for the most disruptive startups in Dakar to come and pitch at the AfricArena conference in Cape Town.