Prizes and competitions are some of the few ways African tech entrepreneurs and startups get support for their projects. For example, Okuafo Foundation recently got rewarded by the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the UAE.
These competitions also give one’s startup some level of legitimacy and exposure. Also, you get to team up with other startups to start other projects and/or complement in resources where one is lacking.
Knowing these benefits of competitions and prizes, below are 6 of them for African tech entrepreneurs and startups for the first quarter of the year.
Competition for African tech entrepreneurs (Q1, 2020)
Africa50 Innovation Challenge
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A crowd-sourcing initiative in Casablanca, the Africa50 Innovation Challenge seeks to find effective solutions for affordable, reliable, and high-speed internet connectivity in under-served areas in Africa.
Africa50 will provide project development funding between $2 million and $10 million. Successful applicants will be given technical support to prepare their projects for investments.
Admissions are currently open and will be closed on January 31, 2020.
Digital Africa 1000’s Challenge
This competition focuses on city solutions: easy access to essential services, better transportation, reliable finance systems, etc. Thousand African entrepreneurs will be selected to France for the 28th Africa-France Summit from June 4 to June 6, 2020.
Solutions pitch will take place at the Cité des Solutions. Applications will be closed by the end of January 31, 2020.
FAMAE Challenge Food for Good
For the food production and food security startups, FAMAE Challenge Food for Good seeks to support innovative and reliable solutions for the whole food production and consumption chain.
There is a pot prize of €2 million for the winners. Each category earns at least €15,000. Applications have been opened will be closed on February 14, 2020.
Margaret 2020 Awards
Margaret Awards is for females in the digital world. It was set up to push women helping to solve societal problems via the use of technology. Having 4 categories, Entrepreneur Europe, Intrapreneur Europe, Entrepreneur Africa, and Intrapreneur Africa, winners will be given financial and development support of €1 million.
Female tech entrepreneurs or female co-founders are eligible for this awards scheme. Admissions are still ongoing and will be closed on February 2, 2020.
Ocean Innovation Challenge
An initiative of the UNDP, the Ocean Innovation Challenge focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, marine life, and marine resources. This challenges grants funds ranging from $50,000 to 250,000. Applications are already opened.
Thought for Food Challenge
The Thought for Food Challenge is looking for projects that focus on sustainable and inclusive food systems. The Challenge wants startups that address the numerous issues of the food value chain through distribution and consumption. The winner takes away $10,000, the runner up gets $7,500. Applications end on Friday, January 24, 2020.
These are the known competitions and prizes (in Q1 2020) that can help African tech entrepreneurs and startups achieve their goals. Take note of the application deadlines.