African startups named finalists of MIT innovation challenge

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A number of African startups are among the finalists of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge, which will award four grand prize winners with US$150,000 in funding each to develop their businesses.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) was formed to identify, reward, and promote innovators and solutions that are driving greater economic prosperity for all. There were around 300 nominations for this year’s edition of the challenge.

Each of the finalists, which are spread across four categories, has received US$35,000 in funding, with four grand prize winners to be announced at the celebration event in Boston on October 12. These four organisations will take home US$150,000 each.

African startups are well represented, with South African payments startup Nomanini a finalist in the Financial Inclusion category and Nigerian tutoring platform Tuteria chosen in the Income Growth & Job Creation category.

There are two African finalists in the Technology Access category: Rwandan business-in-a-box solar kiosk provider ARED and Nigeria e-learning startup Dot Learn. Meanwhile, Kenyan incubator iHub is a finalist in the Skills & Matching category.

“It’s an honour to be a finalist for the IIC. IIC has the clout of MIT’s global standing in technology along with the recognition that one of the biggest problems in the world today is inequality and exclusion. We appreciate Nomanini being recognised as a leader in inclusive innovation,” said Nomanini chief executive officer (CEO) Vahid Monadjem.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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