Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

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.

Africa Tech Festival

Innovation hub


Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.


Hot startup of the month: Rwanda's Ampersand

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is Rwanda's Ampersand, which designs, builds, and manufactures electric motorcycles and battery packs for motorcycle taxis.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.


Leveraging agritech to build resilience against climate change

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook discusses agritech in Africa and how the agricultural sector is using technology to build resilience against the negative effects of climate change and to ensure food security.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002