Fifteen African tech startups finalists for renowned Space Tech Challenge

Fifteen African early-stage tech startups, focusing on the African space industry have been selected to progress in the next step of the prestigious Space Tech Challenge

Hosted by multiple partners include the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and ZA Space Ince, the Space-Tech Challenge aims to develop early-stage tech startups that are aimed at empowering Africa through space-tech innovation.

Fifteen startups have been selected as finalists for the 2020 Space-Tech Challenge

The challenge has defined space tech as a set of applications that use earth observation, gather information about the physical, chemical, and biological systems of the planet all via remote-sensing technologies. 

As the African space-tech sector is a rapidly growing industry, the challenge’s objectives are to develop the selected participating startups into sustainable companies and develop the continent’s geospatial readiness. This will in turn allow African businesses to service the continent’s demand for geospatial intelligence. 

Finalists for the Space-Tech Challenge

The finalists of this challenge will undergo a two-week business development support programme and pitch their innovations to a panel of expert and industry representatives judges. 

Each participant will go head-to-head for a spot in the Top 10 winners. 

Here are the top 15 African finalists selected: 

From South Africa:

  • A digital mapping startup Abiri, founded by Tswelelo Piet Mashita
  • An environment and tech-focused startup Sturtium, that uses science and engineering to offer solutions that integrate technology, environmental preservation, and social needs.
  • Geospatial data science company Hydro Blu, that focuses on increasing the accessibility to drinkable water supply in vulnerable and remote regions through data-driven decision making.
  • A cloud-based digitisation and farm management platform Smart AgrIoT that provides accurate fertilizer and watering recommendations.
  • Natural disaster mapping solution called Risk Response.
  • A sustainable farming tech company, UpFarm, increases the efficiency in farm management.
  • Contre IPC, a startup that uses Earth Observation data to ensure recovery of stolen products.
  • ABCD Electricity, which uses solar irradiance data to estimate the electricity production capabilities of new photovoltaic (PV) installations which is a power system developed to supply usable solar power.
  • The South African Space Technology for Sustainable Development Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation.

From Nigeria

  •  FieldDev, an agribusiness-focused geographic information system (GIS) mapping provider that manages and maps data of smallholder farmers’ and transforms them into virtual geo-clusters through geospatial analysis.
  • Agro Data, which optimises tropical farming through technologies.

From Rwanda

  • HeHe, a post-harvest platform that forecasts supply and consumer data to predict demand to allocate logistics resources by using remote sensing technology.
  • FloodWiz, which aims to assist with disaster management by providing easy-to-use data on flood patterns.

From Botswana

From Zambia

  • Fourth Line, an agribusiness that manages product distribution for smallholder bee farmers.

The overall winner will be awarded a SecureWatch Premium 5GB valid for three months and to the value of $12 500. Second and third place will be awarded SecureWatch Premium 2GB valued for three months and is valued at $ 5 000. In addition, the winners will receive a four-month incubation and virtual mentorship along with access to a peer-to-peer network via the TechTribe. 

Lastly, the selected winners will have the opportunity to pitch their unique idea to a MAXAR representative.  

Read more: ICT Incubation programme launches for Western Cape businesses
Read more: Free digital management tool for SA SMEs launches

Featured image: NASA via Unsplash 



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