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ATF 2023: African startups win big

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The Africa Tech Festival held last week in Cape Town, South Africa, saw African startups winning accolades for their innovative skills and technological prowess.

The African leg of the Startup World Cup Pitch Competition saw Delta Scan – with its engineering drone-based inspection technology and digital analysis – emerging victorious on the final day of the event.

Delta Scan MD Darryl Epstein was one of eight startups that competed for the top prize which is globally sponsored by Pegasus Tech Ventures.

The win for Delta Scan means the company will join 49 other entrepreneurs from around the world at the finale in San Francisco, California, in a few weeks time.

The winner at the global pitch event will walk away with US$1 million to plough back into their business.

Delta Scan uses drone technology to transform the time-consuming and costly task of gathering information to inspect infrastructure and perform a real-time health check on that infrastructure.

"I appreciate the belief the judges have in me, it helps with motivation. We're on a good trajectory and it helps fuel the fire. We're looking forward to taking this to the global stage," said Epstein.

Other startups that pitched their innovations included education solutions, mobile money apps, job recruitment tools as well as a beauty app.

"This was a fantastic event and there was lots of energy and variety in the pitches seeking to solve different types of problems. It was very interesting to see how Africans are solving problems," said Pegasus South-East Regional Manager Sawyer Tadano.

Botlhale AI Solutions wins Startup of the Year

South Africa's Botlhale AI Solutions emerged as Startup of the Year winner at the Africa Tech Festival Awards 2023, which took place at Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town, on Wednesday night.

The gala event, honored companies, individuals, and initiatives that have demonstrated excellence and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with technology in Africa.

James Williams, senior director for events at Informa Tech, said the standard of innovation and commitment to improving the lives of Africans and building an inclusive ecosystem for sovereign and cross-continental sustainability was impressive.

Botlhale AI Co-Founder and CEO Thapelo Nthite and Omdia Senior Research Analyst Thecla Mbongue.   (Source: Africa Tech Festival).
Botlhale AI Co-Founder and CEO Thapelo Nthite and Omdia Senior Research Analyst Thecla Mbongue.
(Source: Africa Tech Festival).

Botlhale AI Solutions is a research and innovation startup that specializes in conversational artificial intelligence (AI).

Other winners included:

  • Connectivity For All Award – Avanti Communications

  • Innovation for Impact Award – MTN Uganda

  • CXO of the Year Award – Ahmed Yusuf, CEO, Hormuud Telecom

  • Changing Lives Award – Vodacom Foundation DRC

  • Female Innovator of the Year Award – Néné Maïga, CEO, Orange Botswana

  • Sustainability Champion of the Year Award – MTN South Africa and Huawei

  • Fintech Innovation of the Year Award – Mukuru

  • Healthtech Innovation of the Year Award – HealthX Africa

  • Creative Visionary Award – Khutso Theledi, radio broadcaster and media personality

    InspiringFifty Africa Awards recognizes extraordinary women in tech

    EQL:HER hosted the InspiringFifty Africa Awards which recognized 50 women for making strides in tech careers across the African continent.

    The exclusive gala dinner held at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 13 was dedicated to shining the spotlight on African female tech leaders and rising stars.

    InspiringFifty Africa Awards winners Kutlwano Ngwarati, Kamogelo Radebe, Nollie Maoto, Kamohelo Motaung and Kulani Likotsi.   (Source: InspiringFifty Africa Awards).
    InspiringFifty Africa Awards winners Kutlwano Ngwarati, Kamogelo Radebe, Nollie Maoto, Kamohelo Motaung and Kulani Likotsi.
    (Source: InspiringFifty Africa Awards).

    "Africa Tech Festival is a leader in championing women playing a key role in tech on the continent," said MainOne CEO Funke Opeke, who was a judge and sponsor of this year's InspiringFifty.

    She added that the Africa Tech Festival has not only focused on the few who have risen to the top of their careers but also supported programs such as InspiringFifty.

    Related posts:

    *Top image is of the Startup World Cup Africa finalists. (Source: Africa Tech Festival).

    — Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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