Sanofi VivaTech challenge calling on African startups to innovate health, here’s how to apply

Sanofi Kenya has launched three challenges for African startups in partnership with VivaTech. The challenges are for the startups to find innovative solutions to improve access to healthcare and transform the health ecosystem throughout the continent.

These solutions will then be pitched at VivaTech, an annual technology conference, dedicated to innovation and startups, to be held in Paris, France and will take place in May 16th to 18th, 2019,

With the three challenges Sanofi aim is to identify, select and support the best startups in their desire to invent tomorrow’s solutions in the health sector on the African continent. They illustrate Sanofi’s commitment to contribute locally by supporting the most daring and innovative entrepreneurs in the realization of their projects.

These challenges are also part of Sanofi’s strategy to support and encourage innovation in African, in order to create a health ecosystem at the patient’s service and that includes all stakeholders in the sector including public authorities, private companies, startups

The first challenge is to provide solutions to enhance awareness, diagnosis and disease management of patients suffering from diabetes. Today, over two-thirds of adults living with diabetes in Africa are unaware of their condition. Once diagnosed, a majority of patients remains untreated or uncontrolled, mainly because of access and affordability, lack of medical capabilities and patient education.  

The second challenge focuses on how to improve access to medicines in remote areas from supply chain management to alternative payment solutions. This challenge should make it possible to develop innovative and personalized solutions, for better patient care, even in the most isolated areas. Sanofi is looking for tools developing systems reaching the “Last Mile” through e-commerce, direct to pharmacy, direct to patient and tailored payment solutions and can provide better health support for people.                                    

The last challenge looks for solutions to support decision-makers in getting a better usage of available health data to recognize and predict diseases, for research purposes and to improve health care management. This challenge aims to identify solutions to assist in the decision-making process and the evaluation of public-private partnerships.

Interested startups can participate by registering through the VivaTech website here. The selected startups will then be invited to present their innovative solutions at Afric@Tech, a Lab dedicated to the African continent within Viva Technology. They will defend their projects in front of a jury consisting of Sanofi representatives and industry professionals and will be able to demonstrate their solutions to the public.

A jury of professionals will select the final start-ups in February. Startups will be evaluated according to 5 criteria: concrete evidence of positive results in at least one African country, project maturity, relevance of the solution, market potential and business model, skills, expertise and experience of the team and finally scientific evidence if applicable.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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