On June 14th, 2022, AfricArena turned the most prominent startup incubator in the world, Station F, into the stage of African tech entrepreneurship. Over 45+ African startups from seed to growth stage spent the day pitching to foreign markets from the various delegations and supported by ITC, Wesgro, La French Tech, Founder Family, Bond’innov and FSATLabs. 60+ African startups participated in investment speed dating with over 100+ Investors. In addition, AfricArena announced its partnership with FMO to support 10 startups through the AfricArise program.
The FMO Sustainable Tech Open Innovation Challenge will support several agri-tech, fin-tech, and energy access businesses focused on Ghana, Morocco, and Tanzania. These ventures will compete in pitch competitions at AfricArena’s North Africa and East Africa regional summits with the winners to be showcased at the AfricArena Grand Summit in early November 2022.
Marieke Roestenberg, FMO Ventures Program Manager, said: “Our partnership with AfricArena is part of our journey to promote and support the flourishing sustainable tech ecosystem, including agri-tech, fin-tech and energy access business models, especially in newer tech hubs across Africa. We look forward to supporting AfricArena and collaborating with the broader consortium to accelerate startups in these sectors.”
350+ In-person attendees and 1500+ virtual viewers joined us as we embarked on showcasing Africa’s best disruptors. Over 16+ speakers and 28 Investor Jury attended the one-day scaling summit and hosted an array of Panel discussions, Fireside chats, and Keynotes with the aim of accelerating ecosystem participants’ journey on the latest news in African tech.
A word from Délégation Générale à l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes – DER , represented by the General Delegate for Entrepreneurship Madame Mame Aby
Amongst keynote and Fireside chats were Keet Van Zyl (Knife Capital), Henri Zietsman (AWS), Catherine Young (Thinkroom), Mareme Dieng (500 Global), Ben Marrel (Breega), Hangwi Muambadzi (CommerzVentures), Zach George (Launch Africa), Robert Haynie (FMO), Matsi Modise (Simodisa), Haifa Ben Salem (ITC) and so many more.
The winner’s circle
Most promising entrepreneur: Sermomed (South Africa) – CEO: Anne Gabathuse
Best scale from Africa to Europe: Yobante Express (Senegal) – CEO: Oumar Basse
Most innovative business model: Liquidgold (South Africa) – CEO: Orion Herman
Top 10 startups selected to pitch at VivaTech
All the winners Pitched at the VivaTech stage on Friday 17 June at the AfricArena Track showcasing in addition; PayGenius, Tripoli, Brayfoil Technology, Survey 54, Laina Finance and FBC.AI. After 10 back-to-back pitches, the overall winner of the VivaTech AfricArena showcase was Matthew Bray from sustainable South African energy tech Brayfoil Technologies.
Brayfoil Technologies is building the future of wind turbine blades – patented biomimicry-inspired compliant structures that change shape like bird’s wings. The technology can be built into large wind turbine blades to reduce unnecessary loads, enabling larger, more efficient, more reliable and cheaper-per-MW devices. We are able to reduce in-operation loads by up to 20%, storm loadings by up to 90%, and decrease sensitivity to windspeed perturbations by up to 60%. Conservative estimates equate to a blade length increase of 13% without an increase in blade-root structural strength.
This results in an increase in rated power of 23%, annual energy production of 25% and a decrease in the cost of energy (LCOE) of 20%. If adopted at scale, this would have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 gigatons of CO2 by 2050.
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