SA Innovation Summit, Unicorn Group partner on $8.5m Africa Cup pitching competition

Featured image: SA Innovation Summit via Facebook

Update (4 June 2019): The article has been updated to include details of the Winetech Pitching Den and Africa Cup application deadline extension to 28 June.

The SA Innovation Summit has partnered with pan-African investment company Unicorn Group to offer top entrepreneurs around the world R8.5-million in funding in The Africa Cup competition — formerly the SA Innovation Summit Pitching Den.

As with its previous incarnation, The Africa Cup is open to innovative ideas, startups and early-stage companies in tech and other tech-enabled sectors.

The winner of The Africa Cup will receive a R5-million investment, while the second prize of the competition is a R2.5-million investment offer. The cup’s third prize is a R1-million investment offer.

Entries for the competition close on 28 June.

The final of The Africa Cup will take place on the last day of the SA Innovation Summit, which runs from 11 to 13 September in Cape Town

In addition, the first and second place prizes include three and two weeks of acceleration, respectively, in a choice of one of three locations: Silicon Valley, Lagos and Budapest. The third prize includes acceleration in South Africa.

The SA Innovation Summit explained in a statement yesterday (28 May) that all travel and stay expenses will be paid from the investment offer.

In a separate statement yesterday, the summit also announced that the winner of the Winetech Pitching Den will gain automatic entry to the finals of the Africa Cup.

The Winetech Pitching Den is sponsored by wine industry body, Winetech, to attract agritech start-ups developing innovative solutions addressing key issues confronting wine producers.

Up to twenty finalists will go through to the Winetech Pitching Den where they will pitch their start-ups to a panel of judges at the summit.

The competition seeks disruptive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for reducing the wine industry’s impact on the environment as well as pioneering ways to use technology to rethink production methods and encourage stable growth for small and large industry participants.

It will focus on the following areas: climate change, water reclamation and resourcing, genetics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and any other areas which increase efficiency, profitability and environmental sustainability.

Entries for the WineTech Pitching Den will also close on 28 June.

By connecting industry-ready innovations with wine producers, Winetech aims to boost the industry and help build a sector robust enough to withstand volatile economic and environmental climates.

The Africa Cup will serve as the grand finale of the SA Innovation Summit which will take place on 11 and 13 September in Cape Town. Finalists of the competition will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges on the last day of the summit.

SA Innovation Summit chairperson Audrey Verhaeghe said the summit is encouraging entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity to compete for investment, gain market and media exposure and network with potential enablers and sponsors.

“It is a chance to scale up the inspired, ground-breaking solutions from Africa into the world,” said Verhaeghe.

Featured image: SA Innovation Summit via Facebook



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