CAPE TOWN – Following a rigorous process of nominations, public voting and adjudication, last Thursday at the regional Grand Finale of Southern Africa Startup Awards, 15 winners in 15 categories, from 14 participating SADC countries were announced, and SBC AfriTech walked away with the title of Top Accelerator.
The award was received by Nsovo Nkatingi, Programme Manager for SBC AfriTech and the only female to lead an accelerator of this scope.
“Startupbootcamp AfriTech is truly honoured to have received this award,” states Nsovo Nkatingi, Programme Manager for SBC AfriTech, “And we are even more privileged to be backed by Nedbank, Old Mutual, PwC, RCS and BNP Paribas Personal Finance, these are the partnerships that help us validate the impact we have in Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.”
The Southern Africa Startup Awards is a circuit of the world renowned Global Startup Awards, which provides an annual spotlight on web/tech startups in regions across the globe with focus on startups around 5 years old, highlighting up-and-coming and established technology talent globally.
Prior to the Grand Finale, more than 3000 nominees went through public voting and adjudication in their home countries to win the national round.
The winners were then further judged and ranked by an esteemed panel of international judges, whose decision was eventually combined with individual public votes from across the globe for the finalists to win at the regional Grand Finale of the 2018 Southern Africa Startup Awards.
“The tech ecosystem in Africa is expanding rapidly and there are many new entrants – both local and international – that are providing amazing support to local startups. This means that all the accelerator programmes must keep raising their game,” states Philip Kiracofe, co-founder and CEO of SBC AfriTech, “We are humbled to have received this award and are honoured to proudly represent the African continent at the Global Startup Awards competition. The recognition for SBC AfriTech gives us yet another platform through which to showcase the disruptive startups in our cohort, and the innovative corporate sponsors who are powering them.”
SBC AfriTech is now officially the leading tech accelerator on the African continent and is the Africa-leg of a global family of industry-focused accelerators. The AfriTech accelerator is focused on high-growth startups in blockchain , connected devices, payment solutions, capital markets and asset management, integrated supply chain, e-commerce, FinTech, RetailTech, InsurTech , alternative financing, identity management, digital connectivity, data and behavioural analytics and enabling technologies.
Selected winners of the National Awards in each Region, such as Africa, will then participate in the Global Startup Awards the following year. Six of the categories announced at the Southern Africa Startup Awards, including Best Startup Accelerator/Incubator, which SBC AfriTech won, will now be represented at the Global Startup Awards next year. This means they will compete with the winners of 6 other regions for the global accolade to be announced in 2019. This ceremony will be held in China with the venue and date still to be confirmed.
“Innovation ‘For Africans, By Africans’ is baked into the DNA of SBC AfriTech and we are passionately devoted to accelerating every aspect of the ecosystem – startups, corporates, young digital talent, our partner network, and of course the SBC AfriTech team. We are able to leverage a global support network that includes 680 startup alumni, hundreds of corporate sponsors, and thousands of mentors to fulfil our core mission to scout, skill, and scale the best innovators on the continent. We work tirelessly every day to embrace this ethos and we are ecstatic to be recognized with this award. Naturally, we are excited to look forward to the Global Startup Awards competition, but regardless of what happens there, our most important focus will continue to be the local and regional ecosystem,” concludes Kiracofe.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE