The African regional round of the 1776 Challenge Cup takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, today, with the winners of seven local heats to pitch head-to-head to advance to the global competition.
US-based accelerator 1776 hosts the global Challenge Cup each year, which sees startups compete through three stages. Approximately 20 startups pitch head-to-head in local competitions, with three at each event chosen to progress to the regional heat. Five regional winners will be selected today to advance to the global finals, to be held in Washington DC in June 2016.
At the global finals, startups will compete for US$175,000 in cash prizes and up to US$1,000,000 in investment from the 1776 Seed Fund.
Disrupt Africa reported in September 1776 announced local African heats in Accra in Ghana; Harare, Zimbabwe; Pretoria, South Africa; Casablanca in Morocco; Ugandan capital Kampala; and Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa; while a Nigerian leg has since been added. The African heats were held throughout December and January.
The winners of the local events today converge in Nairobi, where following two days of pitching coaching, mentor meetings, and rehearsing, the competitors will pitch their businesses to the judges and audience.
Five overall winners will be selected to progress to the global finals.
The judging panel will be comprised of Evan Burfield, 1776 co-founder and co-chief executive officer (CEO); Eddine Sarroukh, head of Philips Research Africa; and Mercy Mutua, senior business development manager at DOB Equity.
Tickets to attend the event are available here.