Safaricom, Jumia among speakers at Battlefield Africa

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Representatives from the likes of Safaricom, Jumia and Andela are among the speakers at TechCrunch’s Battlefield Africa event, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya on October 11.

Disrupt Africa reported in May the TechCrunch Battlefield Africa 2017 was coming to Africa for the first time this year, offering startups the chance to win US$25,000 in non-equity funding.

The event will see 15 startups pitch for the chance to become “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup,” but also includes a lineup of well-known speakers and judges, featuring fireside chats and panels.

Bob Collymore, chief executive officer (CEO) of leading Kenyan mobile network provider Safaricom, Facebook’s Uche Ofodile and BRCK CEO Erik Hersman will discuss connectivity, while Jumia CEO Sacha Poignonnec, EchoVC’s Eghosa Omoigui and Paga’s Tayo Oviosu will talk strategies companies can employ in order to become unicorns.

AppsTech CEO Rebecca Enonchong will join IBM Africa’s Nik Nesbitt and Andela chief strategy officer Wambui Kinya to discuss what it takes to build the right teams and what tools to employ while staying on budget, while creative industries leader Obi Asika and Kisua e-commerce founder Samuel Mensah will share their perspectives on how startups can properly export their local culture while maintaining their unique identity.

The main competition of TechCrunch Battlefield Africa will be held before a live audience. Confirmed judges include Naspers’ Showmax Africa head Chris Savides, IFC senior investment officer Wale Ayeni, Nataal founder Helen Jennings, MEST managing director Aaron Fu, and Agile Venture Capital founding partner Shuonan Chen.

The company that wins the overall competition will secure US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus an all-expenses paid trip for two to San Francisco to compete in the TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt SF 2018.

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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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