Nairobi to host first Africa Techcrunch competition

By Benjamin Obegi

Attention is expected to shift to Kenya`s capital, Nairobi, as it plays host to the first ever African edition of the TechCrunch entrepreneurship competition.

Christened the TechCrunch Battlefield Africa, the adrenalin-pumping start-up clash is slated for 11 October in the Kenyan capital and is being supported by Facebook.

Top winners will take home a whooping US$25,000 and book place at the global contest set for the US next year.

The event is billed to be a further vote of confidence for the deepening spirit of entrepreneurship in Kenya and the entire Sub-Saharan African region.

TechCrunch looks for excelling innovators and technical entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa pooled in three competition categories namely: Social good, gaming entertainment, productivity and utility.

Also expected to show appearance at the Nairobi battlefield are the alumni that include Dropbox, Yammer, Cloudfare, Getaround among others.

Since 2007, the platform has been focusing light on world-class company founders with a total of 700 participants having raised $700 funding and nearly 100 rack ups.

In the Nairobi meet, fifteen African companies drawn from a shortlist of 700 entries will be chosen and identified as Sub-Saharan Africa`s most promising start-ups.

The next stage is for the founders of the winning companies who will pocket US$25,000 cash prize and will be crowned “Sub-Saharan Africa`s Most Promising Start-up’’.

The winners will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the global Battlefield at TechCrunch`s flagship event slated for Disrupt, San Francisco, USA in 2018.

According to the organizers, at the global stage, the winner will take home the Disrupt Cup and $50,000 while all the contestants will bask in the glory of exclusive press, investor and partner attention plus a prestigious membership to the elite ranks of battlefield.

Another key attraction at the competition will be the top African brains who will be on the judges` bench deciding on the ideas that will have the most spark.

They include: Sacha Poignonner (Co-CEO Jumia), Wale Ayemi (International Finance Corporation (IFC), Hellen Jennings (Naatal) Andreata Mufaro (Tide Africa Fund) among others.

The event will streamed live on TechCrunch and Facebook for global viewers.

Applications closed on July 14, 2017 with the finalists receiving notifications in August.

There will be in-person training and rehearsal sessions on October 10.


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