Moroccan mobile startup LIK, which gives users mobile phone credit based on a points system, has won the lightweight title at the global Get In The Ring competition held in Medellin, Colombia.
Get In The Ring pits startups against each other in a boxing ring, with each entrepreneur having 30 seconds to pitch their businesses.
Moroccan startup LIK earned its place in the final by winning the North African regional leg of the competition, and ended up walking away with the lightweight title. South Korean startup DOT’s braille smartwatch won the overall prize, while Colombian startup Biodencell won the middleweight title.
LIK’s application allows users to get free minutes or data in exchange for targeted advertisements on their smartphone. It will now join the other two winners on a worldwide trip where they will meet with companies such as Samsung, Orange, Rocket Internet, Sequoia Capital Asia and Heineken.
This year’s Get In The Ring saw 5,000 startups from 80 countries took part, with 22 chosen to fight for the world title fight in Medellín. Each finalist took part in a four-day programme where they received pitch training and motivational speeches from successful entrepreneurs, and met local startups, investors and business leaders from around the world.
Get In The Ring director Jochem Cuppen said he expects the competition, now in its fourth year, to be even bigger next year.
“We are going to promote Get In The Ring where we don’t yet have many competitors. Next year we aim to have three times as many participants from over 100 countries,” he said.
African startups have a track record of success in the competition, with South African travel app startup GoMetro finishing runner up at the 2014 competition, held in the Netherlands.