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Startupbootcamp (SBC) AfriTech has announced the names of the 22 tech startups selected to attend its final selection days which are set to take place on 10 and 11 July in Cape Town.
The tech accelerator said in a statement today that it had received 1804 applications from 64 countries for its 2019 cohort, an 80% increase from last year’s 1004 applications from over 77 countries.
Of the 22 teams that were chosen, seven are from South Africa, six hail from Nigeria and two are from Kenya, with Uganda, Togo, the UK, Morocco, the US, Senegal and Zimbabwe each being represented by a team.
SBC AfriTech Final Selection Days will be held on 10 and 11 July at Amazon Web Services’ Head Office in Cape Town
The 22 startups that have been selected are:
Uganda: Cinnamon Clubs
US: Xcellent Life
Senegal: Yobante Express
At the final selection days — which will be held at Amazon Web Services’ head office in Cape Town — startups will have the opportunity to present their pitches to corporate sponsors, investors and others. They will also have the chance to engage with mentors and sponsors.
At the end of the second day, the top 10 will be announced and welcomed into the Cape Town-based accelerator programme that kicks off on 12 August and culminates in a demo day on 7 November.
Over this three-month period of the programme, the startups will have the opportunity to scale and seal pilots and proof-of-concepts with the corporate sponsors of the programme and others.
‘More market traction’
SBC AfriTech legal and scouting manager Motlhabane Koloi, commenting in the same statement, said the startups that applied this year were “exceptionally impressive”, adding that most are later-stage startups.
This, Koloi explained, indicates that applicants this year showed more market traction than those from previous years.
“What’s more, the talent originating out of different regions in the African continent is astounding. In 2019, we saw more than 30% of our overall applications coming from Nigeria, 20% from South Africa and 8% from Kenya.
“This trend has been consistent over the past three years, showing that the ‘big three’ ecosystems are still leading in terms of innovation and tech,” he added.
While SBC AfriTech’s focus in previous years has been on fintech and insurtech startups, the accelerator has found that the African innovation landscape crosses sectors and allows for collaborations between industries.
SBC AfriTech CEO and co-founder Philip Kiracofe said the majority of this year’s applications were from the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, accounting for 22% of all applications.
“In this sphere, we are seeing an acute emphasis on big data in e-commerce, fintech and software as a service for financial services,” added Kiracofe.
This is followed by the agriculture, which accounted for 12% of applications, with startups particularly in West Africa developing Internet of Things (IoT) tools for farming, and fintech solutions for financing the agricultural sector.
Business services comprised 11% of all applications, including innovations around developing solutions for data management and aggregation, knowledge management and predictive analysis.
Smart cities and clean technology are other rising sectors, Kiracofe noted.
SBC AfriTech co-founder and chief investment officer Zachariah George added that to date participants from the past two cohorts have collectively been able to raise more than $4-million.