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Gear up Saharan-African SMEs, Startup Battlefield Africa is about to begin

It’s a shout-out to all the small and medium sized enterprises in the sub-Saharan Africa, your time is running out as the TechCrunch’s inaugural startup BattleField Africa competition is about to begin in only a few weeks.

If you are interested, here is the link that will take you to the application page. The application deadline is Friday, the July 14th, 2017 latest by 5pm PST. Companies who are shortlisted to participate will be notified by August 21st, 2017.

In the Battlefield Africa, Startups can only apply on any one of the three categories, which are:

1) Social Good

2) Productivity and Utility

3) Gaming and Entertainment

As long as a company fits into any of the mentioned categories and you meet the eligibility criteria that is mentioned at the end of this post, you are absolutely encouraged to apply.

TechCrunch has also shown their excitement to partner with Facebook that is helping them to bring Battlefield to Nairobi, Kenya later this year. The Battlefield will feature several prominent startups from the region, each vying to be crowned the most promising startup in sub-Saharan Africa.

TechCrunch will host Startup Battlefield Africa in Nairobi in front of a live audience and prominent judges in each category, and we will live stream the show on TechCrunch and Facebook so the rest of the world can tune in. The judges will choose a winner in each category and select an overall winner, “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup,” whose founders will win US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to San Francisco to compete in the Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt SF 2018.

This is a period of promising growth for the region, with online shopping site Jumia becoming the region’s first unicorn, exits becoming increasingly frequent and VCs all around the world taking notice. The Startup Battlefield Africa event will take place October 11 in Nairobi, Kenya at a location to be announced. We hope to see you and your promising social good, productivity and utility or gaming and entertaining company there. Find the eligibility criteria below:

As mentioned earlier, startups must fit into one of three categories (social good, productivity and utility or gaming and entertainment) to participate. Five startups in each category will be selected to join us onstage for the Battlefield Africa in Nairobi.

Apart from the relevance in any of the three categories, qualifying startups must:

  •         Be early-stage companies in “launch” stage
  •         Be a resident from our eligible countries
  •         Have a fully working product/beta, reasonably close to or in production
  •         Have received limited press or publicity to date
  •         Have no known intellectual property conflicts

What will the winners receive?

Apart from the exposure that comes from pitching to the global TechCrunch audience, as well as the live audience of distinguished technologists, entrepreneurs and investors in Nairobi, the overall winner will receive US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to San Francisco to compete in the Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt SF in 2018.

Are the attending costs covered?

No. But TechCrunch will try to find financial assistance for a startup in need of help to reach the Nairobi event.

Who will choose the finalists?

The TechCrunch editors who run the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition will choose the finalists from the application pool.

Who will be the judges?

TechCrunch and Facebook will select four judges for each theme. They will be noted entrepreneurs, investors and technologists with experience relevant to the category. A TechCrunch editor will moderate the judging and cast the tie-breaker ballot, if needed.

What is the format of the competition?

Each company will have five minutes to present. The judges will have five minutes to ask questions. Live demos are strongly encouraged.

Upon what criteria startups will be judged?

  •         Productivity and Utility — the judges will pick the startup with the product or service most likely to go into full commercial production and have the biggest impact on human potential and/or the largest exit.
  •         Social Good — the judges will look for the startup with the product most likely to catalyze social and economic development through technology.
  •         Gaming and Entertainment — the judges will pick the startup with the product or service most likely to see wide consumer adoption and have either the biggest exit and/or impact on gaming and entertainment.

Deadline is on?

July 14th, 2017 at 5pm PST.

Will the TechCrunch team help prepare startups for the competition?

Yes; in-person training and rehearsal sessions will be required, as well as in-person rehearsal on October 10th.

What else is required?

The pitch-off is on October 11th, 2017. There will be a reception at the end of the pitch-off, where each company will have room to exhibit and talk 1:1 with pitch-off attendees.

Which countries are eligible?

Residents in the following countries may apply: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Note: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the foregoing language, the “Applicable Countries” does not include any country to or on which the United States has embargoed goods or imposed targeted sanctions (including, but not limited to, Sudan).

Muneeb Qadar Siddiqui, surely a blogger/Digital marketer from Mars making some waving on this earth. Writing for 8 straight years, Muneeb is equipped with digital knowledge like no one else. Mostly he writes about mobile app development Dubai, custom mobile app development, corporate branding, e-commerce tips and tricks, Entrepreneurship, and web design company Dubai . He loves drinking Tea and has a passion for innovating, educating and motivating people to live life to its fullest. Connect with him on: Twitter | LinkedIn

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