Recognizing entrepreneurs that are doing amazing work around the world is quite important and that’s what the Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship is all about. This year’s event is currently taking place in South Africa and touts itself as a “biennial flagship event convening the global innovation and entrepreneurship community to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches”.
It’s hosted in partnership with the South African Department of Science and Technology and infoDev, a global partnership program in the World Bank Group. “Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries,” says the event site.
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The Global Forum, which is in its fifth year, is an impressive event that attracts around 500 — 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique south-south and north-south networking and knowledge-sharing experience.
Fifty entrepreneurs that were invited to the event where chosen from various startup competitions such as DEMO Africa and the like. Entrepreneurs that applied were required to motivate their inclusion into the top 50. Like most competition, the list has been narrowed down to 20 companies following a round of pitching to a judging panel.
The top 20 include some very impressive tech companies from around the globe, and what’s pretty cool is that most the companies are from Africa.
So let’s meet the final 20:
Afroes — Afroes focuses on “digital media solutions” like games to create powerful educational and social messages.
Amant Antennas — Amant Antennas focuses on wireless design innovation.
Angaz Design — Angaza is combining human-centered design with innovative technology to reshape the global energy market. The company offers a solar energy alternative where customers pre-pay for energy with micropayments tied to their usage. People would pay for the service like they would for credit on their prepaid mobis.
Asly — In a battle against fake and counterfeit products, the company offers product authentication system where people can SMS the unique product number that would then be verified within less than one minute.
Centsless — Initially South East Asian focused, the company offers a reward-system where students are motivated in schools in order to achieve academic goals. For example students are motivated to earn Centsless points (credit) in class and other activities in order to win prizes.
Eneza (named changed from Mprep) — Founded in Kenya, the company focuses on spreading education everywhere through their web, SMS based, and mobile web platform. The company offers an “assessment-based system that quizzes students on topics learned in class to a multi-media learning platform accessible to as many students and schools as possible through widely used ICT”.
Farmerline — Farmerline is a mobile and web-based system that furnishes farmers and investors with relevant agricultural information to improve productivity and increase income, using a toll free helpline and automated sms alerts.
Fomobi — The company introduces an app called mTracker to enable motorists and other asset owners to manage the security of their possessions in an easy and user-friendly manner, everywhere.
Gonnasphere — The startup offers users the ability to organise their social lives based on their interests. Information about upcoming events, activities, social sharing and calendar synchronization are offered.
GreenGar — An application development company, its interests span over a range of categories with broad appeal. The most popular apps are Whiteboard: Collaborative Drawing and Brain Tuner. The company now mainly focuses on making presentation and collaboration more productive.
Inkoniq — This app development company uses interactive storytelling for mobile devices, audio/video applications and games to promote products and launches using augmented reality and social media.
Khaya Power — The company provides basic power using a portable battery combined with a charging station that makes use of grid or solar power.
MicroForester — MicroForester is involved with planting trees in developing nations and remote regions. They offer a cheaper mobile app to help people perform tree-planting in order to stimulate reforestation.
Mobiflock — Mobiflock is a mobile safety and security company that offers businesses, parents and individuals specialized apps when using smartphones and tablets.
Zege Technologies (Mpaya) — Mpayer is a mobile and web solution that enables businesses to accept and track any form of payment such as mobile money or cash. It also allows businesses to back up transactions to analyze customer development and growth and also engage with their customers intelligently.
Qabila Media Productions — Qabila is a media content creator that capitalizes on crowdsourcing and digital media to provide clients with cost-effective content that reaches their target audience, in the most engaging and effective way.
SliceBiz — SliceBiz aims to leverage web/mobile (as well as offline) platforms to create a connection between startups looking for funding and business-savvy young professionals/middle class looking to invest.
Transcel — Transcel offers person-to-person and person-to-institution money transfers. Transcel/M3 adds powerful functionality to mobilize microfinance operation from the field to the enterprise back-office.
Tugo Builds — Tugo Builds design and create construction toys to address the needs associated with early childhood development and the other mathematics and science.
Kuza Mobile — Kuza Mobile provides a platform that allows you to put your business on the internet using only your mobile phone. The company claims that you will be able to “create a business website in just 5 minutes.”