African startups will have another chance to test their work in a startup competition Techcrunch Battlefield organised by technology magazine TechCrunch and Facebook in Nairobi, Kenya on October 11, this year.
“We’re looking for Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs to participate in TechCrunch Battlefield Africa 2017,” TechCrunch said on its website on Friday.
Startups can apply to three categories: social good, productivity and utility, gaming and entertainment. TechCrunch will host the event in Nairobi in front of a live audience and top judges, and will live stream the show on TechCrunch and Facebook so the rest of the world can tune in. The judges will choose a winner in each category and select an overall winner.
The Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup will see its founders win $25,000 USD in no-equity cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to San Francisco to compete in the Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt SF 2018.
The timing for Battlefield Africa 2017 could not be better. Sub-Saharan Africa just produced its first unicorn, Jumia, exits are increasingly frequent, and global venture capitalists are taking note.
Sub-Saharan African startups are helping unleash the region’s potential, from last-mile technologies that deliver edtech, agritech, and medtech to remote areas, to mobile-based fintech innovations that ease financial transactions and lending in bustling cities.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s diversity in language, culture, politics, technology and living standards demands huge creativity from entrepreneurs.
Techcruch said that Sub-Saharan African startups, for example, have proven themselves particularly skilled at innovating with low-cost mobile applications, rather than capital-intensive, high-broadband web applications. That makes sense in a region where access to a mobile phone is often more likely than access to clean water or electricity. Innovations that can scale to fingertips globally are fueling human possibility and expansion to global markets.