FACEBOOK has celebrated the achievements of a fast-growing community of African tech entrepreneurs and developers, with the sponsorship of the first-ever TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in Africa. Alongside the event earlier this month, the company also hosted a week of activities bringing together hot African start-ups, developers, influencers and community leaders – to share ideas, learn and connect.
Putting the spotlight on Africa’s creative, diverse talent and vibrant technology companies that are building products and solving problems for local and global audiences, TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa saw 15 start-ups battle it out to win a $25,000 prize. Nairobi-based Lori Systems, with its product and service in the Productivity and Utility category, was crowned the overall winner for its logistics and cargo platform for African businesses.
Other winners included:
- Gaming and entertainment category winner: Ghanaian based SynCommerce, which lets users list and manage their products and inventory across multiple sales platforms i.e. Shopify, eBay, Etsy.
- Social good category winner: Ghanaian based AgroCenta, an online marketplace for African farmers.
Participant, Lanre Oyedotun, co-founder and CEO of Delivery Science, a Nigeria based startup, commented: ‘It’s a great experience to be part of Battlefield. It’s encouraging that global brands like Facebook and TechCrunch are recognising the talent in Africa. Our solution, FieldInsight, helps large organisations get visibility into their field operations. To be able to showcase this on a Pan-African platform is a privilege.’
Speaking at the event, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice-President of Partnerships, said: ‘Congratulations to all the finalists. I’ve been so impressed with what I’ve seen today. Africa truly is a continent with remarkable creativity and talent – it was amazing to see some of Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs showcase their disruptive innovations and tell their stories. I’m looking forward to what Africans will produce in the years to come – truly global products that will become household names.’
Other highlights of the week-long event included the Facebook Platform Meetup, which brought together entrepreneurs, developers, and senior leaders at early-mid-stage start-ups in Kenya to learn how Facebook’s Platform products can help to accelerate their businesses.
Facebook Developer Circles Africa Masterclass, a three-day training course which brought together 25 Developer Circle leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa.
Developer Circles Nairobi Meetup – celebrating passing its 1,000 member mark, and its sixth meetup, this brought together the Nairobi Developer Circle community in an evening of networking.
Women in Tech event – designed to engage with influential women working in Nairobi’s technology ecosystem and to share Facebook’s mission on Diversity.
Facebook Community event – bought together 12 interesting Facebook community leaders from across Nairobi, including Benard Azegere, founder of the Kenyan Ice Hockey League.
SMB, Agency and Content Creators Workshops – which provided advice to Kenyan entrepreneurs, agencies and SMBs on how to grow their business using Instagram and Facebook.
‘Facebook emerged from a vibrant start-up ecosystem which enabled us to innovate and grow quickly,’ said Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for Middle East & Africa. ‘By supporting events like TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2017, and bringing together an array of Facebook events over the week, our aim is to continually nurture the truly exciting tech ecosystem in Africa.’