Dealflow platform for African tech startups, AfricArena Summit set for November 2020

Dealflow platform for African tech startups, AfricArena Summit set for November 2020

The African dealflow platform for tech startups, investors and corporates, AfricArena, will be hosting its fourth annual Summit from November 24-25 i

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The African dealflow platform for tech startups, investors and corporates, AfricArena, will be hosting its fourth annual Summit from November 24-25 in Cape Town, preceded by its Founders’ Bootcamp and VC Unconference Weekends – and virtually with AfricArena Air.

A platform made by, and for, investors and entrepreneurs in high growth market Africa, home to disruptive innovations such as mobile payment, is continuing to see, even through Covid-19, an acceleration in numbers of investment deals in its tech startups, primarily focused on inclusive fintech, social innovation and clean-tech/off-grid (those sectors representing over 53% of $2 billion in investment in 2019), and represent the next major growth market of investment in tech.

Since its inception in 2017, AfricArena has been a platform dedicated to supporting the creation of market access and investment opportunities for its ever-increasing community of founders, angels, corporates and VC investors.

Designed with a digital approach in mind, AfricArena consists of a series of investment deal flow events and interventions and an open-source platform for all stakeholders, all based on principles of open innovation and entrepreneurship. Since inception, the AfricArena brand has rapidly gained enormous credibility in the tech startup ecosystem with alumni startups having raised over $160million in the past four years.

The AfricArena Summit is the culmination of a year-long build up of events realised through the AfricArena Tour. During the course of the year, pre-selection pitch events take place at the major tech hubs of the African continent in search of highly potential startups.

The AfricArena Tour features Pitch Challenges defined by corporate sponsors, such as Air France/KLM and Amazon Web Services and institutional partners, such as Bpifrance/Euroquity and United Nations ITC, as well as “Best of Ecosystem” challenges which are defined by AfricArena and are open to all kinds of tech startups. This year, all of the Tour events have taken place virtually, through webinars, covering destinations that include: Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tunisia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

Building on the success of the past three editions, AfricArena 2020 is accelerating the momentum, while taking into account required Covid-19 health and safety measures. In an effort to support entrepreneurship and economic contribution, an in-person Summit, with attendance limitations, will take place on from 2425 November 2020, at Workshop17 (Watershed, V&A Waterfront) in Cape Town. The Summit will welcome startups, investors, corporates, media, institutional body representatives and representatives of ecosystem enablers such as incubators and accelerators. 

The two-day event will feature over 40startups from across the continent pitching in various Open Innovation Challenges, including ones set by Air France, Bpifrance and Viva Tech; as well as investment tracks with Seed, Series A and Series B startups all pitching. The Summit will feature keynotes and panel discussions from esteemed figures in tech innovation, business and investment.

Delegates of the Summit will also enjoy side events, such as the VC Night, which fosters networking between some of the key stakeholders of Africa’s tech future.

The AfricArena Unconference and Startup Bootcamp

On the weekend leading up to the Summit, there will be two programs running in parallel to each other: a VC unconference for investors active in the African tech space, and a pitching bootcamp for startups that will be taking the stage at the Summit.

Introducing AfricArena Air

A new element of AfricArena 2020 is “AfricArena Air”, AfricArena’s digital track, available from anywhere in the world, and providing a wealth of content co created with investors, entrepreneurs and corporates, and designed to enable a very high level of interaction and networking, something often missing in the digital event space.

In addition, several tech hubs across the continent, such as Impact Hubs, will be running micro hybrid digital & in person events to enjoy the livestream of AfricArena from the comfort of their local hub while also networking with other local ecosystem players. This will enable AfricArena to run the first distributed tech conference ever, while contributing to generating much needed income for the African tech hubs, encouraging a new level of interaction in our “new reality” and driving home AfricArena’s core focus – networking.

Zimkhita Buwa, board member of Silicon Cape, AfricArena’s host ecosystem, had the following to say; “as an organisation committed to tech entrepreneurship we could not be more thrilled to support AfricArena as the first major tech event to take place live this year post Covid-19 lockdown, with its innovative hybrid approach. This event is key for entrepreneurs across the continent both for fundraising efforts and for investors’ dealflow and community work”.

Christophe Viarnaud, founder of AfricArena added, “More than ever in a COVID-19 world, human connections – whether in person or virtual – are critical to business growth and investments. Relationships are built on trust and we are delighted to innovate once again with a very solid set of technology tools in the form of AfricArena Air and with other services which will be announced soon. We continue to strive towards contributing to the business of African tech entrepreneurs and investors. We look forward to hosting our guests physically and digitally in a
few weeks.”

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