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Emerging Tech

AfricaIgnite Hosts the African leg of the Startup World Cup at ATF

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – AfricaIgnite, formerly AHUB, Africa Tech Festival's flagship event for the African continent's startups and innovators, has been announced as the host for the African leg of the global Startup World Cup 2023.

The AfricaIgnite Startup Pitch Showcase will take place at Africa Tech Festival in November in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ten African startups will have the opportunity to pitch for a spot at the grand finale to be held in San Francisco in the US on Dec. 1, 2023.

To enter, African early-stage startups and scale-ups with seed funding of up to US$15 million will need to apply by October 15, 2023.

The finalists, to be unveiled on Oct. 30, will then need to make their way to Cape Town and pitch in front of hundreds of investors and tech leaders on Nov. 16.

The winner of Africa Tech Festival's pitch competition will then be invited to compete in the grand finale of the Startup World Cup in San Francisco for a chance at a US$1 million investment.

They will pitch in front of industry experts such as Barbara Corcora of ABC's Shark Tank, Uber Chief Product Officer Sundeep Jain, Roblox CTO Daniel Sturman and more.

Since launching in 2016, the festival's startup platform has been committed to supporting the growth of Africa's nascent entrepreneurs and innovators and interest in the offering has grown significantly.

"Africa's bright and forward-thinking minds need a platform to network, get inspired, and co-build a stronger tech startup investment ecosystem, which is exactly what AfricaIgnite offers. As Africa Tech Festival, we are excited to be partnering with The Startup World Cup to offer our African colleagues the opportunity they deserve to present their businesses on a global stage. This is a very exciting partnership, and the first, we hope, of many as the continent's innovation sector gathers momentum," said James Williams, senior director for events at Informa Tech.

Investment by the numbers

In 2022, Africa was the only region where startup investment grew, with around US$4.8 billion put into around 1,000 businesses. That said, this sum still only represents a paltry 1.2% of all startup funding raised globally.

However, this is predicted to change quite rapidly in the years ahead as the continent's entrepreneur, startup and small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) ecosystem fully embraces the digital revolution and connectivity, whilst Africans create the solutions to many of their own, and the world's challenges.

In the 2021 to 2022 period, 37% of investment was channeled to the fintech space, but its dominance is now being challenged by innovation and new business ideas that solve Africa's energy and waste difficulties.

Other sectors that are attracting interest also include telecom, media and entertainment, logistics and transport, retail, agriculture, and food, as well as the growing proliferation of deep tech.

"We are very happy to partner up with Africa Tech Festival for the Startup World Cup South Africa Regional and are delighted by the quality and enthusiasm of the startups who are competing," said Anis Uzzaman, founder and CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures, who created the Startup World Cup competition in 2016.

"Each year we have been able to reach more entrepreneurs in more cities around the world and, in turn, connect more innovation ecosystems to Silicon Valley and the rest of the world. We hope this partnership creates new valuable opportunities for the competing startups from Africa," Uzzaman added.

Startup World Cup is a global conference and competition with the goal of bridging startup ecosystems worldwide. This year there will be 50+ regional events across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Investor community

Africa Tech Festival also holds its own when it comes to the investor community, with databases of several thousand investors and venture capitalists predominantly spanning Africa and the United States, as well as a strong community of founders, entrepreneurs and startups.

Aside from the exciting early-stage startup Pitch Showcase, AfricaIgnite in 2023 is looking to up the ante with a curation of content that is exciting and informative.

The AfricaIgnite space located in the AfricaTech Hall will be a center of activity with an offering of excellent networking and matchmaking between founders and investors, a startup marketplace and demo area (no pitching required), along with a host of dedicated workshops and masterclasses presented by top professionals.

Delegates, startups, and those considering taking a leap of faith into the new world of business, can explore content that covers useful topics such as: what to expect from year one as a founder – what to do, get good at and what to ignore; the power of collaboration in building a global company; perfecting the next "X"-tech for future generations; founding, funding and running your startup in economically challenging times; concept to company – demystifying the entrepreneurial process, plus a raft of funding talks and presentations, as well as the all-important insight into exit planning 101.

Head to Cape Town Nov. 13-16 to be part of the action at Africa Tech Festival, the world's largest and most influential Africa-focused technology, telecoms, and media gathering.

For more information, please see the website here: Africa Tech Festival 2023 – The Home of AfricaCom & AfricaTech.

To apply for the Africa Tech Festival 2023 pitch competition, please click here.

View all ticket options for Africa Tech Festival, including startup passes, here.

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