Winners of last year's African Startup Awards will be enroute to Copenhagen, Denmark, this March to showcase their solutions to some of the world's top startups, venture capitalists, and ecosystem enablers at the Global Startup Awards (GSA) Grand Finale. In the meantime, innovators looking to be a part of the next delegation are encouraged to apply to the 2022/23 season of GSA Africa – the largest independent startup ecosystem competition on the continent on a mission to find, fund, and scale the most innovative companies in Africa. Applications are free and close on 26 February 2023.
Among others, this year's competition is looking for innovations in agriculture, climate, commerce, education, healthcare, and mobility & logistics, with a particular interest in startups championing Web3 technologies, green innovation, and diversity in the workplace. This is coupled with additional award categories for co-working spaces, ecosystem support organisations, investors, and individuals.
Providing applicants and winners alike with unmatched opportunities to gain global exposure, access new markets, and network with global industry leaders, the competition will see entrants contend at a national level before vying for their spot as a regional finalist. From here, a panel of innovation experts will determine the African winners, who will be announced alongside representatives from across the public, private and civil sectors at the GSA Africa Summit in September 2023 – a two-day conference and gala dinner to convene, connect and celebrate Africa's most innovative minds.
Winners of the competition will also have the exclusive opportunity to receive funding from the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG). As the investment partner to the African Startup Awards, GIIG's sole purpose is to fund the development of Sustainable Development Goal-aligned solutions on the continent and recently announced a slew of investments into last year's regional and African winners, including Kubik, MyHealthAfrica, and ScarabTech, among others.
In addition to funding, the African winners are exposed to new opportunities for collaboration on an international scale, with winners, Scarabtech and Tekeya, recently invited to attend COP27, where they were announced as winners of the Africa Grows Green Awards.
"Whatever your category, I highly recommend that you enter the African Startup Awards," says Kidus Asfaw, Co-founder and CEO of Kubik, which was named the African winner in ESG Tech and Startup of the Year at last year's competition. "For us, it wasn't just about the funding potential – it was important that we be a part of a pan-African ecosystem of innovators. Now, we're excited to be representing the continent in Demark later this year for the Global Startup Awards Grand Finale – we're excited for this opportunity to really put Kubik on the global map."
Reflecting on the Awards and Summit, Jeffrey Barbee, Founder and CEO of ScarabTech – which was named a regional winner for Southern Africa – says: "It was a great opportunity to connect with impact-minded partners from all over Africa. This environment of collaboration afforded the startups involved the opportunity to meet each other, learn about other amazing projects, and develop our networks across the continent. Making contact with businesses on a similar journey to us was a valuable exercise and is helping shape how our business can best succeed in the future."
Adding to this, Jo Griffiths, Co-Founder of GSA Africa, says that: "The African Startup Awards is more than just a competition – it's a community. We're building the largest network of innovation organisations, from the entrepreneurs working on the ground, to the investors and government organisations that support them, all committed to realising sustainable, inclusive, and impactful development across the African continent. It is for this reason that – in addition to funding – we also strive to support all applicants with non-monetary forms of support, such as mentorship, training and networking."
Applications for the African Startup Awards are free and close on 26 February 2023.
To apply, or for more information, go to www.globalstartupawardsafrica.com