The e-commerce industry in South Africa has experienced a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and Black Friday was no exception….
Utopia is the world’s first urban innovation group focused solely on emerging cities and their slums. Founded in Silicon Valley, Utopia is investing in African cities through the Megacity Fund and is building out the platform and infrastructure for urban entrepreneurs to transform their cities through a network of CITYLABS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Eight winners have been selected for the first-ever Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge
Eight winners were selected from a pool of over 170 submissions. The winners will now enter the first urban accelerator in Africa, produced by Utopia.
Entrants passed through a thorough selection process which included several industry leaders, venture capitalists, policy makers, futurists, and urban professionals from across the globe, serving as judges.
Olakunle Oloruntimehin, Country General Manager at Cisco, remarked on the stellar quality and scope of innovations submitted.
“The quality of the startups and the innovations we reviewed is evidence of the improving startup landscape across Africa. Utopia’s innovation challenge is a great platform for identifying startups that will be relevant as we aim to build more resilient and sustainable cities in the future.”
Entrants were evaluated on the originality of their idea, its scalability, and viability, whether it addresses a critical challenge, and the capacity of the team to build the solution.
Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, who leads the Lagos Urban Development Initiative, comments on the exciting new initiative.
“It has been a pleasure to be a partner of the Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge. After reviewing some submissions I am sure it is going to be hard to select the winners from a pool of over 170 submissions. What I love about this challenge is that we are asking entrepreneurs, thinkers, and creatives to think outside the box to find solutions, not for a select few, but for the masses and this includes the urban poor. It is exciting and it has never been done before.”
The challenge awarded over $10 000 in prizes. The winners from this exciting new initiative will become a part of the first virtual urban accelerator in Africa, providing critical support to these innovative startups to scale their product and innovations on a local and global scale.
Winners of the Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge
Upnepa is a premium API which provides real-time, historic, and predictive power supply/outage data from the grid and private power sources, and can be easily integrated onto any digital platform.
PricePally is a digital food cooperative for African cities. They enable people in cities to buy food in bulk or share bulk with others directly from farmers and wholesalers making it cheaper than buying at retail stores.
POKET is an end-to-end crowdsourcing platform for mapping and retail insights across the emerging world. POKET allows people to earn rewards by completing tasks with just their smartphones, helps organizations in the public and private sector make more data-informed decisions, and unlocks the power of the informal economy.
NIMA Codes is a simple yet powerful phone number based addressing system for the places without formal street addresses.
MediSpark is building an ecosystem of healthcare software applications to accelerate the widespread adoption of tech in African healthcare and, as a result, improve the accessibility of quality healthcare for many more Africans.
GIVO leverages technology to collect recyclable material directly from individuals, families, and businesses and to process these materials into consumer and industrial goods.
GatePass helps communities grow together by connecting estate and facility managers, and their residents on the issues that matter. Using data and mobile technology, they enable community managers and their residents to collaborate, harmonize goals, build trust, and grow together as a community.
Fly Colony specializes in the production of a protein-packed, inexpensive and high-quality alternative to the otherwise expensive and unsustainable fish meal in the market through black soldier fly farming replicable in urban households.
Featured image: Giorgio Trovato via Unsplash