More than 45 start-up founders representing 15 African countries have begun to touch down in Paris, France for Viva AfricArena. Commencing on Tuesday 14 June, the techpreneurs will participate in various pitch battles to attract European investment.
Among the hand-picked start-ups who are scaling from Africa to Europe are Yobante Express from Senegal, Bizao from Côte d’Ivoire and FCB.ai from South Africa. The African showcase precedes Vivatech, one of the largest start-up conferences in Europe.
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Both Viva AfricArena and Vivatech will be held at Station F – billed as the world’s largest start-up facility located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. As well as 3 000 desk spaces and private meeting facilities, Station F accelerates entrepreneurs in partnership with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Ubisoft and Zendesk, among others.
AfricArena founder, chief executive and early-stage investor Christophe Viarnaud will kick off the African tech showcase. Venture capitalist and KnifeCap co-founder Keet van Zyl will deliver the keynote address on the state of tech in Africa with pitch and public speaking expert Nick Bjorklund confirmed as the master of ceremonies.
Tough pitch battles at Viva AfricArena
For weeks now, some of Africa’s finest techpreneurs have polished their pitches ahead of the high-adrenaline day of networking and deal-making.
“We aim to onboard more relay points in Europe, engage with investors and partners to allow the African diaspora to send parcels from Europe to Africa and vice versa,” says Oumar Basse, the co-founder and chief executive of Yobante Express. His logistics start-up connects local couriers with local commerce to optimise domestic, cross-border and last-mile delivery in emerging markets.
Viva AfricArena will have separate pitch battles for start-ups in fintech, emerging markets and sustainability, as well as incubators and investors.
While the event is attracting techpreneurs from across the continent, Ventureburn can confirm that South Africa is well represented with ten entrepreneurs expected in Paris. This includes Wandile Khumalo from Syked, a healthtech start-up offering virtual private counselling, and Joshua Fillmore from Strove, a comprehensive wellness application.
Among other inspiring ventures, TROTRO Tractor, an agritech start-up is on the watch-list from Ghana. ARSELA technologies, an IT services start-up, is hot property in Tunisia while Kenyans will be sure to follow the journey of Stima Boda that provides charging services to enable moto-taxi riders to switch to electric motorcycles.