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Three African tech start-ups with procurement, logistics and circular economy solutions can each wine $10 000 worth of Amazon Web Services credit in AfricArena and Saint-Gobain’s new Open Innovation Challenge.
The challenge specifically targets start-ups operating in South Africa, Kenya and Egypt with organisers seeking a “proved product-market-fit as well as market validation.” In terms of venture maturity, applications from start-ups between the seed and series A stages are invited.
According to a release issued by AfricArena, the challenge targets platforms, solutions and marketplaces for construction materials enabling greater transparency over construction materials specifications and data, or digitising and optimising the purchasing process. Also, preference will be given to delivery and logistic solutions for construction sites tackling both in-flows of construction materials and out-flows of construction waste or material surplus.
“We are thrilled to partner with Saint-Gobain and its corporate venture fund Nova for another innovation challenge this year,” said AfricArena chief executive Christophe Viarnaud.
“Through this new collaboration, we are aiming to identify the best African start-ups who, through their innovative solutions, will have a real and tangible impact and help the supply chain industry evolve in Africa.”
Known for its continent-wide innovation challenges, AfricArena has become one of Africa’s leading tech accelerators. Its partner, Saint-Gobain, designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for the construction, mobility, healthcare and other industrial application markets.
AfricArena and Saint-Gobain’s Open Innovation Challenge comes as supply chain disruptions are continuing to disrupt businesses across the continent. Covid-19-related lockdowns along with the war in Ukraine and ailing infrastructure has immense knock-on impacts for manufacturers and suppliers.
“Under the current supply chain disruptions the world is facing, procurement and logistics solutions digitising and optimising processes, as well as, circular economy solutions focusing on limiting and reusing waste are seen as major levers of efficiency,” says Viarnaud.
Three start-ups will be selected to pitch at the annual AfricArena 2022 Summit in Cape Town in late November. They will showcase their solutions in front of Saint-Gobain executives as well as investors looking for world-class talent to partner with.
Before the summit, the finalists will also participate in a full day of workshops presented as part of the Founders Bootcamp. in partnership with FSAT Labs. They will get insider tips on pitching, engaging with investors and business development.
Interested start-ups can apply online. Egypt-based start-ups must apply by Sunday, 31 July while those in Kenya have until Wednesday, 31 August. South African start-ups can apply until Saturday, 15 October.