All you need to know about AfricArena’s current open innovation challenges

AfricArena, the international African startup and investor conference, currently has six challenges that entrepreneurs from across the continent can apply to. Two close this week. So, you better hurry, if you want to apply.

Last month AfricArena entered into a partnership with French tech conference VivaTech.

The agreement has culminated in the two partnering to run a joint challenge for African startups which will see the top three finalists pitch at the Cape Town summit. Specifics of that challenge have as yet been released.

In the meantime, entrepreneurs can apply to the following six challenges which AfricArena has already released details on. Here they are.

Africa tour challenges

In April, the organisation announced the launch of an Africa tour to scout for startups that are to be flown to Cape Town, where they will undergo training, and thereafter pitch at the summit set to take place on 15 and 16 November

The application deadline for two of the AfricArena challenges closes this week

The tour will feature country specific ecosystem challenges which are meant to pre-select the five startups per country that will pitch for the opportunity to travel to Cape Town for the conference.

The cross-sector challenges are open to all startups with an existing product. In addition, applicants are expected to be able to prove substantial growth and traction, as well as have attained market and customer validation.

More importantly for successful applicants, the pre-selection pitching sessions are set to be streamed on international investor platform Euroquity.

Read more: AfricArena expecting 1000 investors this year, adds Africa tour in run up to event

Nairobi: The application deadline closes tomorrow midnight (5 June) for the pre-selection event, set to take place in the city on 13 June.

Casablanca: Moroccan startups have until 26 June to apply for the pre-selection pitch session set for 4 July.

Lagos: Nigerian startups must apply by July 8. The pre-selection event is set to be held shortly after that on 18 July.

Three sponsor challenges

The Vinci Energies and RCS Group challenges will each select three startups to attend AfricArena where they will attend pitching workshops, and ultimately pitch to investors.

Vinci Energies challenge: The first application deadline for this challenge — for Kenyan entrepreneurs — closes on Wednesday (6 June), with deadlines of 24 June for Morocco and 1 July for Senegal and Nigeria.

Vinci Energies is looking for disruptive solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the blockchain to:

  • Quantify, manage and optimise energy exchange flows at microgrids and, or national grid level
  • Optimise renewable energies production
  • Manage the monetary exchanges of energy through blockchain
  • Leverage interactions between micro-grids and national grids;
  • Optimise energy networks for a better access to energy

The winner of this challenge stands a chance to work on a mutual proof-of-concept (POC) with Vinci Energies, as well as receive the opportunity to pitch to the company’s Inerbiz Corporate Fund.

The RCS Group Challenge: The financial services group is looking for entrepreneurs that have a solution able to secure and store customer identification and authentication credentials in order to ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval.

Entrepreneurs and innovators have less than a month left to apply for this challenge.

For applicants to be selected, their solutions — which must be available in-store, online and on mobile applications — should:

  • Include the legislative and security requirements that RCS is required to fulfil in each relevant customer process, especially South African regulation
  • Allow for access to verified and trusted external data sources (e.g. Home Affairs) to ease customer input
  • Facilitate a once off on-boarding and verification process with seamless repeat use when required
  • Cater for multiple white labelling requirements

The winning startup will have the opportunity to potentially partner with RCS in the integration of their solution with the company’s existing system.

Air France KLM Challenge: This year, Air France KLM is looking for solutions aimed at Joon, its new lower-cost subsidiary. Entrepreneurs and innovators also have less than a month left to apply for this challenge.

This challenge in particular is aimed at innovators with solutions that either enhance passenger’s personal devices’ experience or the customer on-board connected experience.

Applicants should consider entertainment, passenger assistance, and a better customer experience both on-board, and off-board.

To learn more about all the various AfricArena challenges, go here.



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