What a great event! June 12th 2018 marked the first time AfricArena visited the culture-driven, entrepreneurial hub of Africa, Kenya! The AfricArena team was really excited for the Nairobi event, and it delivered beyond expectation.
Before attending this event, we knew that Nairobi was a key player in the African startup ecosystem, where in 2017 Kenyan startups raised roughly USD $33 million, and the country has produced some of the best and most successful startups over the course of the last few years, such as Branch, Pesa-pal and Bamba-Group, to name a few. However, what stood out the most was a fascinating culture of uplifting positivity and a natural sense of entrepreneurship amongst almost all the young Kenyans present at the event.
The event kicked off with a world-class panel discussion focusing on the role of Kenya in the African startup ecosystem. The panel was insightful to say the least, with all the contributors being key influencers from Nairobi, such as Daniel Yu, CEO of Sokowatch, Samuel Gikandi, CEO of Africa’s Talking, Maurice Otieno, GM of Metta, and Winnie Odhiambo, Associate Partner at I-Dev International.
Firstly, we would like to thank the team at Metta for hosting the AfricArena team in Nairobi. The sense of professionalism and passion for startups the team expressed is everything we believe so firmly in for Africa. Maurice and his team did an outstanding job, and we are really keen to see what next year has in store for the Metta and AfricArena partnership.
Secondly, we would like to congratulate the Nairobi pitch challenge winners, Medbit. Not only did they have a great pitch, but they are the proud founders of an innovative product which plans to solve a major problem not just in Africa, but many other third world nations across the globe. Their prize includes flights and accommodation to Cape Town in November this year, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their startup to hundreds of international investors, corporates and conglomerates from North America, Africa and Europe.
Nairobi delivered a great host of startups, all completely unique in their own ways – which made the judges’ decision a difficult one. We would like to thank all the startups that attended and pitched their innovation; Art galore, BeAfrica, Majik Water, Strauss Energy, Cloud9, FlexPay, M-life, Netwookie and Optimetriks. We wish you all the best, and will most certainly be keeping tack of your success and hope to see you again in Nairobi in 2019!
Having already visited Mauritius, Reunion Island, Paris, New York and Nairobi, our quest continues in search for the greatest Africa has to offer in 2018. AfricArena will be heading to Casablanca, Lagos, Dakar and finally ending off in Cape Town in November this year. All startups are welcome to submit their challenges via our website and attend AfricArena when we visit your city. For more information on how to get involved as a startup, investor or partner, contact us!
One step closer to the final event in Cape Town, and one more successful event with amazing African innovation and talents!