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The tech world’s gaze is firmly fixed on Cape Town as AfricArena’s 2023 tour hurtles towards its grand finale. In six weeks, the Cape Town International Convention Centre will transform into a hub of innovation and investment at the AfricArena Cape Town Grand Summit, slated for Tuesday, 5 and Wednesday, 6 December 2023.
AfricArena’s relentless pursuit of ground-breaking tech ventures took them on a whirlwind journey across Africa this year, unearthing gems in Johannesburg, Cairo, Dakar, Nairobi, and Tunis. Roadshows were also conducted in New York, Berlin, and Paris to attract investments and promote African tech start-ups in the US and Europe.
Now, the 2023 edition of the AfricArena Grand Summit promises a culmination of this journey, spotlighting the continent’s most ingenious start-ups in AI, deeptech, climatetech, and more.
Over 60 experts, spanning technology, finance, and policy, will grace the stage, sharing insights and predictions in keynote speeches and panel discussions. For start-ups, however, the event is more than a stage; it’s a battlefield, where the best from regional contests will vie for the coveted Open Innovation Challenge titles.
Presented through the collaborative efforts of industry leaders including AWS Startups, the City of Cape Town, GREAT Britain, Technology Innovation Agency, Edge Growth, FMO Ventures, SuperReturn Africa, and Methys Group, the AfricArena Cape Town Grand Summit embodies the fusion of global innovation and local expertise.
Organisers tell Ventureburn the Cape Town Grand Summit is the climax of a week-long tech start-up showcase. Beginning Monday, 27 November, the Soft-landing Programme, a brainchild of FSAT Labs and ENRICH in Africa Centre, will unfold.
This is slated as a gateway to South Africa’s bustling start-up scene. Participants will dive deep into workshops with governmental bodies, legal experts, local start-ups, and more. It includes curated tours of Cape Town’s innovation epicentres, co-working spaces, and a two-day deal flow boot camp.
Start-ups picked for the founders’ bootcamp at Citrusdal’s Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort from Monday, 3 to Tuesday, 4 December, are in for an intensive agenda. Facilitated by the French South African Tech Labs, a minimum of 50 top-tier start-ups will be hosted.
The programme encompasses enriching workshops and invaluable mentorship sessions with experienced investors. It offers start-ups a unique platform for unfiltered idea exchange, fostering innovation and initiating potential collaborations within the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.
AfricArena invites ambitious European or African start-ups yearning to conquer South Africa’s tech frontier to apply to the Soft-landing Programme. The application process is fairly straightforward: express your interest, dive into a two-week deep dive into Cape Town’s tech and investment sphere, and pitch your heart out at the Grand Summit. Applications can be made online.
Other programme highlights include the VC Night on Tuesday, 5 December where start-ups and investors are set to converge for informal yet impactful exchanges. Innovation night, a forum for creative dialogues over cocktails, will wrap up AfricArena’s 2023 tour on the following evening.
Super-early bird tickets can be bought on Eventbrite.