Digital Africa Startup Challenge 2018 for African Startups

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Application Closes: 22nd October, 2017

Eligible Countries: Countries African and French

To be taken at (country): Mali and France

About the Award: Are you convinced that digital innovation is the path to achieving sustainable development? Have you created an innovative product or service linked to FinTech, health, environment, energy or agriculture? Do you want to create Africa’s digital transition? Enter for the Digital Africa Startup Challenge now.

Has your startup got an innovative solution that could help Africa’s development? Submit an application to accelerate your growth! Boost your startup with the Digital Africa Startup Challenge and let the world know about your digital solution to help support sustainable development in Africa.

Eligible Fields: For the second edition of Digital Africa, startups are invited to propose innovative projects in line with their potential for impact in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Territories: urban challenge, rural transformation, smartcity
  • Citizenship: e-government, commitment, activism, new media
  • Knowledge and Creativity: education, training, creative and cultural industries
  • Environment and Climate: greentech, cleantech, sustainable transport, blue economy, energy

Type: Entrepreneurship


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  • The Challenge is formed of two sections: one covering France, the other covering the continent of Africa. The Challenge is open to any company established in France or anywhere within the continent of Africa. Companies established in France shall receive the Award from Bpifrance and companies established in Africa shall receive the Award from AFD
  • Participation in the Challenge is entirely free of charge, with no obligation to purchase.
  • Each participant is required to be fully aware of the Regulations. Signing up to the platform and taking part in the Challenge implies full, unreserved acceptance of the Regulations.
  • Participation in the Challenge is restricted to companies:
    • registered on the trade register of the country in which their headquarters are based, and
    • with a valid professional insurance policy.
  • AFD and Bpifrance staff members, companies having helped implement or promote the Challenge and their family members cannot take part in the Challenge.
  • During the registration process, each Participant must certify that they fulfil the aforementioned conditions.
  • Participants must also supply a registration certificate issued within the last three (3) months and certify that they comply with the social and tax legislation to which they are subject.
  • Participants may only take part in the Challenge once.
  • But any Participant can still propose any number of ideas.
  • The Participant must sign up online and create a user account for their company

Selection Criteria & Process: 

  • The Panel will choose the 40 best applications for the expansion stage using the following criteria: – team suitability – relevance of the solution – feasibility – sustainability – replicability – impacts on development, growth, employment
  • Startups are invited to submit entries in one of four eligible fields above.
  • The jury will choose one African startup and one French startup from each category. As well as these eight winners, one African startup and one French startup will be chosen via a public vote.
  • The final selection will include four African startups and four French startups, all chosen by the jury. Two additional startups will be chosen by an online public vote.
  • The 10 winning startups of the Digital Africa Startup Challenge will have the opportunity to present their solution at the 27thAfrica-France Summit in Bamako!

Number of Awardees: 10

Value of Contest: The Digital Africa Startup Challenge open to 10 winning startups. 5 from Africa and 5 from France.

  • AFD Acceleration Pack for the 5 winning African startups providing you with professional support develop your project. You could benefit from services including mentoring, incubation, networking and funding! The prize is fully customisable – you’ll work with AFD to build your own pack to suit your needs

Maximum Value of €30,000 for each winner

  • BPI France Support Pack for the 5 winning French startups. Boost your knowledge and develop new opportunities for expansion in Africa. This pack will include registration on any training programme from the Bpifrance Université catalogue. And also a trip offering the opportunity to network and to discover the Abidjan and Cape Town ecosystems, organized by French Tech Abidjan and French Tech Cape Town.

Maximum Value of €10,000 for each winner

10 Winning Startups will be invited to the African-France Summit in Bamako, Mali (Flights + Accommodation covered)

How to Apply: It is important to go through the Application Requirements on the Contest Webpage before applying

Visit Contest Webpage for details          

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