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Building on the success of its inaugural startup competition and digital innovation held in October 2016, the Digital Africa Challenge is now calling for application to the second edition.

The first edition saw some 500 applications from startups from across the African continent, and the top 10 walked home with awards. Digital Africa Challenge is calling for another cohort of startup to apply for the 2017 and second leg of the competition.

This challenge was initiated and is being backed by the Agence Française de Development, La French Tech, and Bpifrance who say they are committed to seeing the top startups mature and solidify their presence in the digital space. While at it, they aim to ensure the startup scale their products or services for economic growth. The AFD Executive Director, Rémy Rioux, said the following on the Digital Africa Challenge:

Digital innovation is abundant in Africa. Africans are making a technological leap that accelerates the emergence of the continent. Through Digital Africa, AFD supports emblematic startups of the digital African ecosystems, and fulfills its mission of development in the service of education and innovation, in the digital age. Development is now moving in both directions, between the two shores of the Mediterranean.”

His counterpart, Nicolas Dufourcq, the Bpifrance Executive Director added: “We are proud to participate in the Digital Africa challenge and to support 5 French startups in their development on the African continent which nowadays offers great opportunities. This challenge represents a straight continuation of our action for the internalization of enterprises and their cooperation with the African continent.”

Digital Africa Challenge goodies for participating startups

Startups that successfully apply for this second leg of the competition will have benefits including:

Ø Startups that emerge winners of this competition will profit from the free publicity to a crowd made up of international investors, clients, and partners.

Ø They will join an exclusive community that gathers the top talents in digital innovation across Africa, who jointly share their experiences and skills to better the Africa digital space.

Ø The top 5 startups will get AFD’s acceleration pack, technical, and financial support to the tune of 30,000 euros.

Awards for the top 5 French Startups

Participating French startups that emerge top 5 will get Bpifrance funding to the tune of 10,000 euros. This fund will go towards strengthening their expertise and developing new digital opportunities for the continent of Africa.

Additionally, they will also get access to Bpifrance Université training, networks, and go on a discovery trip to Cape Town and Abidjan accompanied by the French entrepreneur’s community in the French Tech Hubs.

Qualification for considerations

Startups wishing to participate in the 2017 Digital Africa Challenge, you must meet the following minimum threshold requirements:

Ø Territory – urban challenge, smart city, and rural transformation, etc.

Ø Knowledge and creativity – education, cultural industries, creative, and formation, etc.

Ø Environment and climate – green technology, sustainable transportation, renewable energies, blue economy, clean technology

Ø The relevance of the solutions proposed; their sustainability, feasibility, and impact.

Selection process

Pre-selected startups will be reviewed by the AFD and Bpifrance experts. They will next proceed for the final selection by a jury made up of experts from the technology and entrepreneurship space in Africa. Members of the jury include:

Ø Erick Young – CEO, Greentech Capital Partners

Ø Emeka Okofore – TED Global, for Africa

Ø Tidjane Deme – General Partner of Partech Venture

Ø Pauline Mujawamariya – Director of the Innovation Prize for Africa; African Innovation Foundation

Ø Aissatou Sow – Director of Development in Africa, Intel Corporation

Interested startups from across Africa are hereby invited to apply for the Digital Africa Challenge at this link before the October 22nd, 2017 deadline.

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