The finalists for the 2020 MEST Africa Challenge, representing the best tech software startups in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa, and Tanzania have been released with 83 companies making the shortlist.
MEST Africa made the announcement through blogost. While Debo Engineering won the country final for Ethiopia which was held on 3 June, startups finalists from the remaining countries will now pitch for a place at the finals, which will be held at the 2020 MEST Africa Summit.
The summit, which was expected to take place in Accra, Ghana this month, will now take place as a virtual summit, on a date yet to be announced.
Finalists were chosen after a three-month-long search for Africa’s emerging tech entrepreneurs from nine emerging markets including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa, and Tanzania.
Each country finalist will compete in a pitch competition for a chance to win $50,000 in equity investment, Microsoft support, access to coaching, and a continent-wide network of startup hubs.
With Kenya Country Finals set for tomorrow, the startups who will be participating in the finals are: MarketForce, DawaSwift, Snark Health Limited, Dawapay, Xetova, Mango Solar, Smart Matatu, TIBU, Fundis LLC, and Nanasi
The names of the startups selected are:
The Ethiopian finals took place on 3 June, with Debo Engineering emerging as the country winner. The remaining startups that also pitched were: Qinash , Alpha, IT Solution, Temaribet, Yezare, Across Express ,iWork , yerras, Omniline IT Technology Solutions and Debo Engineering Plc. Debo Engineering Plc emerged as the winner, the full competition recap can be found here.
The Startups who will be participating In the Côte d’Ivoire Country Finals on June 17th are Guanxi Investment Africa Handmade, Kissi, Tutoo+, Ewarren Financial Services Inc, Moja Ride, Vzion Media, Afrik’apps, and Panelys Cashwill.
In Rwanda, Exuus, BAG Innovation, Rokkup, CalmGeeks Inc., Shambapro Ltd, Bongalo Ltd, Moilla Ltd, Wastezon, Kozzi Homes, and Grab Deal Limited will pitch on June 24th at the Rwanda Country Finals.
In Tanzania SmartClass Company Limited, Ngwala Inventions Limited, Flamingoo Foods Company Ltd, Kilimo Fresh Foods Africa Limited, Dundiza, Kilimo Pay, A-TRADER, CHAP FOOD LTD, Dinestle Technologies, Smartwash Company Limited will compete on July 8th in the Tanzania Country Finals.
On July 1st, Soil Solutions, Aleph Engineering, Henson Geodata Technologies, Sustainable Energy Technologies Limited, Acyst Technology Company, Stabus, Oniocha Ltd, EdTech Innovations Limited, Khalmax Robotics, and Aiscarecrow Technologies will compete in the Ghana Country Finals.
On July 15th, YotePesa Wallet, HoDi HoDi, Insuris, Mousso Africa, and Sourcenets Limited will compete in the Sénégal Country Finals.
The startups who will be participating in the Nigeria Country Finals on July 22nd are Social Lender, MOLI, TOJU, IderaOS, Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited, Padmini.co, Scrapays, Edusko, At Your Service Technologies Ltd, and Gradely.
The startups who will be participating in the South Africa Country Finals on July 24th are My Pregnancy Journey, PopUp Shop Shop, Cowriex, Timber Wizard, AutoAdvisor.co.za, MyBraai, Abby Health, DizzitUp, Creative Nestlings, and Applied Vehicle Analysis.
MEST also announced that this year’s pitch competition will offer startups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic much-needed investment and support during a time of great uncertainty.
To ensure the safety of the MEST community MEST has also moved all the country pitch competitions to virtual platforms, giving local and global audiences front row access to the Africa-wide pitch competition.
This year Nairobi Garage is thrilled to be ecosystem partners for the 2020 #MESTAfricaChallenge: Kenya virtual pitch competition
Entrepreneurs representing each finalist company will pitch their ventures to a panel of judges made up of experts, investors, and ecosystem partners from their respective countries including; VC4A, Levers In Heels, Movemeback, Afrilabs, BriterBridges, Founders Factory, Silicon Cape, blueMoon, GrowthAfrica, Gebeya, Nairobi Garage, NaiLab, SwahiliBox, Royal Work Club, 250 Startups, Impact Hub Kigali, Klab, Ghana Tech Lab, Stanbic Incubator, HackLab Foundation, Sahara Ventures, Seedstars Dar es Salaam, RoboTech, YUX Design, Seedspace Lagos, Growth Lab, Impact Hub Lagos, and She Leads
In 2019, three startups, Kenya’s WayaWaya Ltd, South Africa’s Snode Technologies, and Ghana’s Ozé, tied for first place; all three winners were offered $50,000 in equity investment and $25,000 worth of products from Microsoft.