TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in partnership with Facebook is returning to Africa. This time around the startup competition will be held in Lagos, Nigeria following the breakout success of last year’s Startup Battlefield Africa in Nairobi.
The event will feature panels and keynotes with high-powered industry leaders such as Omobola Johnson, senior partner at TLcom Capital, and Lexi Novitske of Singularity Investments.
The hottest startups from across the Sub-Saharan Africa region will be competing to be crowned the continent’s best startup on 11 December, following in the footsteps of 2017 overall winner, Lori Systems hailing from Kenya, who have built a logistics platform that is revolutionising the cargo-transport value chain in Africa.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is looking to identify Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs. Last year the competition highlighted how technology is optimising supply chains, increasing access to education, strengthening farmers’ revenues and so much more.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa will take place in front of a live audience and top judges, and the show will be covered on the TechCrunch platforms. The judges will have to select a winner to be dubbed; “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup.” The winning startup’s founders will be awarded $25,000 in cash plus a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019.
Battlefield Africa will also feature panel discussions that explore the best tech in Africa and how the technology investment landscapes is changing. The first two speakers announced for the event offer direct knowledge about investing Silicon Valley money in the local ecosystem: Omobola Johnson is a senior partner at TLcom Capital and the former Minister of Communication Technology for Nigeria. Her vast knowledge of the startup investing landscape comes from her 25-year tenure at Accenture where she served as the managing director. Lexi Novitske, on the other hand, is the principal investment officer for Singularity Investments where she is responsible for managing investments in the firm’s Africa portfolio.
“The inaugural edition of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa confirmed that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a vibrant and growing technology startup ecosystem,” said Mike Butcher, Editor at Large, TechCrunch: “We look forward to hearing about how this year’s competitors are disrupting their markets, providing innovative solutions to social and economic problems, and positioning themselves as global contenders.”
“Supporting the next generation and wave of African start-ups is something that we at Facebook are passionate about. Our sponsorship of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa, for the second year running highlights our commitment to the start-up scene on the continent, and helping to provide a world stage to showcase the very best in African talent and solutions” said Emeka Afigbo, Head of Developer Programmes at Facebook.
Notable companies that launched on TechCrunch’s global stage include Vurb, Trello, Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, Tripit, Redbeacon, Qwiki, Getaround, and Soluto. The 763 startups that have participated since the first competition, TC40 in 2007 have raised $8.2 billion, while 102 have been acquired or have gone public as of December 2017.