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Eleven African startups will get the chance to work with big companies such as RCS and AirFrance KLM and French accelerators such as VivaTech and FSAT Labs.
This, after the 11 were announced as winners of various partner innovation challenges during the last day of the tech conference AfricArena in Cape Town, last Friday (16 November).
In addition, each of the winning startups — along with all other startups that attended the conference — will also receive $2000 worth of credits from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As part of winning the challenges the startups will get the chance to work with the event’s sponsors, namely: RCS, Saint-Gobain, AirFrance KLM, Vinci Energies, VivaTech, Leroy Merlin, Engie, Sanofi and FSAT Labs.
In the run-up to the conference, 60 startups pitched their businesses in regional events held across the continent, with the winners invited to attend to pitch at the two-day long gathering.
The 11 AfricArena 2018 innovation challenge winners were awarded the opportunity to partner with the respective challenge sponsors
Commenting in a statement on Saturday (17 November), Joon CEO Jean-Michel Mathieu said the Air France subsidiary is looking to benefit from what he said is “very high potential” in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.
He added that in working with its challenge winner, the airline hopes to find solutions that are “very well adapted” to the African market.
AfricArena CEO Christophe Viarnaud said the grand finale at AfricArena 2018 had shown the “energy and excitement” from 15 corporates, over 150 investors and 70 startups.
“With over $2-million in deals being done, startup-corporate partnerships being struck and a wave of energy and innovation from African entrepreneurs, we could not be more excited about the future,” said Viarnaud.
This year’s AfricArena innovation challenge winners include startups solving for issues that range from energy, health and agriculture. They are:
Air France KLM Challenge 1: SA tourism platform DiscoverIkasi won this challenge that asked startups for solutions that optimise the airline’s travel experience while reducing its environmental footprint.
Air France KLM Challenge 2: Cape Town-based Sea Monster won Air France KLM’s second challenge which sought startups that could use tech to enrich Joon’s travel experience for its passengers.
Engie Challenge: Lagos based solar energy company Arnegy won this challenge which sought solutions that will guarantee reliable energy supply in urban areas.
Leroy Merlin Challenge: Jozi based augmented and virtual reality company Bizar Reality was selected to develop an immersive showroom experience that shows off a large variety of products.
Saint-Gobain Challenge 1: Saint-Gobain sought solutions using satellite trend analysis to predict urban and climate challenges, Pretoria-based Swift GeoSpatial was selected as the winner of the challenge.
Saint-Gobain Challenge 2: In its second challenge, Saint-Gobain sought a solution to upgrade professionals’ skills across Africa, especially in remote areas. Cape Town based education company The Student Hub was selected as the winner.
Sanofi South Africa Challenge: Sanofi South Africa sought solutions that optimise patient treatment adherence and completion rates. Health logistics company Iyeza Health was selected as the winner for its bicycle-based courier service which collects chronic medication from public health facilities and delivers it directly to people’s homes.
The RCS Group Challenge: The RCS Group sought a solution that could store and secure customer identity and authentication credentials. The challenge winner is Cape Town based fintech ThisIsMe.
Vinci Energies Challenge 1: Vinci Energies sought solutions that were using digitalisation to optimise industry and energy performance. The French company selected Paris and Dakar based solar home system startup Oniriq as the winner.
Vinci Energies Challenge 2: For its second challenge, Vinci Energies sought solutions on how to make energy more accessible in Africa using technology such as energy efficiency flow solutions, energy flow optimisation, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). Cape Town based machine learning startup Data Prophet was selected as the winner of the challenge.
Vivatech 2019 Challenge: French tech conference Vivatech sought startups using AI to generate growth and sustainability in the agriculture sector. Cape Town based aerial-data analytics startup Aerobotics was selected as the challenge winner.
Featured image: AfricArena 2018 partner challenge winners (Supplied)