Hundreds of the world’s finest start-ups, techpreneurs and investors are set to attend the AfricArena Grand Summit which kicks off at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town on Tuesday morning.
The three-day, jam-packed programme is the culmination of four regional summits held in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dakar, and Tunis earlier this year to, ultimately, select 25 start-ups who will this week pitch at the global event.
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The Grand Summit, now in its sixth year, is presented by AfricArena, a leading African technology accelerator that actively links high-potential start-ups with corporates and investors from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States.
It is the brainchild of Christophe Viarnaud, a Cape Town-based entrepreneur and early-stage investor. Besides being the founder and chief executive of the Methys Group, he is also the founder of a number of tech start-up ventures operating in South Africa.
Speaking to Ventureburn ahead of the Grand Summit in the Mother City, an AfricArena spokesperson confirms that financial and commerce inclusion, investments in tech start-ups, edutech, agritech and smart cities are among the broad themes to be explored. There is also a dedicated focus on artificial intelligence and virtual reality, climatech, and so-called techforgood.
Delivering the keynote address on Tuesday morning is Maxime Bayen, a senior venture builder who is known globally for Africa: The Big Deal, a popular Substack newsletter on the African tech ecosystem. He will explore the state of tech in Africa.
Bayen’s address follows the earlier State of Tech In Africa report that found that South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Senegal and Kenya are leading the way in implementing legislation to accelerate start-ups. Researcher also reported Africa’s impressive fundraise of over $1.5 billion in venture capital funding in the first quarter of 2022, representing nearly a 100% increase from the $730 million raised in the same period last year.
Also on Tuesday is a presentation by Lelemba Phiri, principal at the Africa Trust Group, who will apply a gender lens on investment. This, as Africa’s female start-up founders are among the most underfunded and over-mentored groups, according to the latest research. Yet, they continue to drive some of the most exciting and important changes on the continent.
On Wednesday, attendees can look forward to talks by Dr Ola Brown, a British-Nigerian medical doctor and founder of the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Group. She will discuss ways to scale partnerships between the public and private sectors.
Mark Birch, a principal start-up advocate with AWS in Singapore, will explore how sales teams at start-ups can evolve. Furthermore, Clive Butkow, chief executive of Kalon Venture Partners, will share ten lessons from taking a product to a fully-fledged, scalable global business.