Global Startup Awards Africa aims to recognise top innovations

The Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa has expanded their programme to enable all future-shapers from 55 African Union Member states to participate in one of the largest independent startup ecosystem-driven competitions.

The competition will kick off with nominations for the GSA Africa with the awards providing participants with the opportunity for growth, development, and possible global partnerships. 

The GSA has expanded its entries to include all 55 African Union Member states

Caitlin Nash, Co-Founder of the Global Innovation Initiative Group, rights holders of GSA Africa points out that Partech’s 2020 Africa Tech Venture Capital Report 2020 has spurred on the growth of African tech startups and is projected to yield positive results for the ecosystem. 

“This, coupled with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area, has signalled the start of a monumental year for Africa. We knew that now was the time to place the continent on the global stage by elevating the African innovation brand and showcasing it to the world. In addition to global exposure, startups and the individuals and organisations that support them will gain access to a global network and opportunities for cross-border collaboration.”


The Global Startup Awards Africa

The competition recognises and rewards all aspects of a startup ecosystem, from the startups themselves to the people behind them, and the organisations that work alongside these visionaries to make great things possible. 

How to apply to the competition

Individuals are able to either enter or nominate a future shaper in Africa. Applications and nominations must be completed online. 

Entries to the competition close on 31 July 2021. 

The categories for this year’s competition are outlined below: 

  • Women in Tech celebrates a pioneering tech startup founded and owned by a woman/women.
  • AgriTech is awarded to innovative solutions in food security, food production, farming methods, and nutrition.
  •  HealthTech recognises a startup that has initiated medical breakthroughs through innovative solutions in BioTech, HealthTech, wellness, and telemedicine to improve quality of life.
  • CommerceTech acknowledges the startup connecting Africa by enabling commerce using technologies ranging from mobile-commerce, e-commerce, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, to fintech, insurtech, and big data.
  •  IndustrialTech celebrates the startup that is enabling Africa’s industrialisation with innovative solutions for safety, mining, manufacturing, production, logistics, mobility, and supply chain management.
  • ESG Tech is awarded to the startup that is enabling environmental, social impact, or corporate governance solutions in areas such as renewable energy, CleanTech, sustainability, recycling, water and sanitation, human rights, EdTech, GovTech, policy, and regulation, among others.
  • Startup of the Year salutes a startup that inspires the next generation of founders by positively impacting the economy and the world in general. It should be a product and/or service that is already a success on the market, disrupting its industry with an innovative approach.
  • Best Newcomer acknowledges a startup of up to two years in age with the potential to become Startup of the Year in the future. Its product and/or service should already be on the market and on a path to disrupt its industry and positively impact the economy and the world.
  • Founder of the Year will go to a startup founder or co-founder who has shown strong leadership skills and achieved exceptional business results while also being an inspiration to their team and a role model for the next generation of founders.
  • VC of the Year honours the VC who has created impressive financial results while investing bravely in innovative companies that can positively impact the economy and the world, supporting them with resources other than purely financial.
  • Best Accelerator/Incubator Program recognises a fixed-term, cohort-based, mentorship-driven program that helps and empowers entrepreneurs to foster the growth of their innovative companies by providing tools, resources, connections, knowledge, and expertise.
  • Best Co-working Space is bestowed on a co-working space that deserves recognition for the services, support, and resources it gives to fast-growth startups, and for creating a culture and an environment that fosters innovation.

The GSA Africa mission and categories in this year’s competition are aligned to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which strives to feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa, and, ultimately, improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

Mara Zhanet, GSA Africa Country Partner and leader of Zambia’s Jacaranda Hub outlines that the expansion of applicable entrants for the awards is a positive step in expanding the African tech startup ecosystem. 

 “This is the first year that GSA Africa will reach all 55 member states of the AU – a big step for African innovation. The Awards will bring African innovation to the world and place African innovators on the global stage, helping to connect emerging innovators in Africa to unrivalled opportunities.”

Read more: Applications open for Makers Landing Food Incubator Programme
Read more: Startup Wise Guys launches first programme in Africa 

Featured image: Christina @ via Unsplash 



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