The Cape Town-based AfricArena event, which will be held in partnership with Wesgro and Silicon Cape in November, will be hosting a “World Tour” in May to select startups to pitch at the event.
Kicking off their 2018 journey in May, the AfricArena team will visit six of the fastest growing African tech cities – Mauritius, Reunion Island, Nairobi, Casablanca, Lagos and Dakar. In-country ‘pitch battles’ will be held, giving each startup the opportunity to present their product or idea. One winner per challenge will get the chance to pitch at the main event.
“On the back of a highly successful first edition of AfricArena with over US$2 million in deal impact and much more in commitments, we have decided to double down on our investment and exponentially increase our impact,” said Christophe Viarnaud, founder of AfricArena and chief executive officer (CEO) of international digital firm Methys.
“This year AfricArena will be expanding its pan-African footprint to find the best startups of the continent. We will also be taking some of the winners of the AfricArena 2017 challenges on an investor roadshow in Paris and New York. With a fully open collaboration model bringing an increasing number of sponsors and ecosystem partners, AfricArena is committed to its mission to accelerating the African Tech ecosystems.”
Key themes for this year’s conference are SmartCity, SmartAgri, SmartCommerce, SmartSkills, SmartMedia and SmartTravel. Startups from all over the continent will be pitted against each other in front of global investors and sponsors.
AfricArena is anchored and endorsed by sponsors including RCS, Air France KLM, Vinci Energies, Saint Gobain, VC4A, Silicon Cape and Wesgro. Included in this are key ecosystem partners MEST, SAVCA, ABAN, Startupbootcamp Africa, La French Tech, French Chamber of Commerce, EuroQuity and BPI France.
“Cape Town is the startup capital of Africa, accounting for more than 60 per cent of all startups in South Africa alone. Conferences such as AfricArena help make our ecosystem even stronger, by connecting the best and the brightest from across Africa. We are excited to be a part of this innovation, and we look forward to a successful “world tour” and conference later this year,” said said Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.