It was an interesting time, over the weekend, for the ten African startups that won a total of $1 million at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI). The event took place in Accra and was attended by Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire whose brainchild this is to support African entrepreneur.
The biggest winner of the night
Nigeria’s LifeBank was declared the biggest winner and was awarded the sum of $250, 000 to facilitate its business of saving lives. The healthcare startup specialises in the use of technology and logistics to deliver “lifesaving medical products” to hospitals across Nigeria and beyond.
Information reaching us from the event also noted that the company’s Founder, Temi Giwa-Tubosun, was bestowed with the Jack Ma African Business Hero Award. An excited Tubosun was quoted by CNN to have said the following:
“The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa.”
— Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (@AFNetpreneurs) November 16, 2019
The first and second runners-up
Other winners also emerged one of which is Nawah Scientific, a private research centre in Egypt that received $150, 000. Water Access Rwanda was also awarded $100, 000 to facilitate its operations in Rwanda it works to provide access to clean drinking water.
3 other Nigerian startups win
With half of the prize going to the top three winners, the remaining $500,000 was left to be shared between seven startups. Three Nigerian startups got a cut from this sum, and they include the following:
- Thrive Agric: An agric-tech company that works to avail small farm owners access to finance
- DrugStoc: A startup that uses IT to fight counterfeit drugs
- Black Swan Tech Ltd: Works to increase birth registration and immunisation of newborn
Other winners drawn from across Africa include: Afrikrea.com from Ivory Coast, J-Palm Liberia, Mumm from Egypt, and Uzuri K&Y from Rwanda.
— Black Swan Tech (@BlackSWTech) November 16, 2019
The panel of judges at the event included Jack Ma, First Bank of Nigeria’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika, and Zimbabwean serial entrepreneur and billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa. They were praised for doing “stellar” job at finding the right winners.
Stellar panel of judges with serious questions and actionable advice @AFNetpreneurs in Accra @joetsai1999 Jack Ma, Strive Masiyiwa, and @IbukunAwosika. Down to which slides to remove, governance structures, realistic addressable markets. Look out for it on youtube pic.twitter.com/mdVgKcvbOX
— Aubrey Hruby (@AubreyHruby) November 16, 2019
In the meantime, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is set to give out another $1 million to deserving African entrepreneurs next year. This will be done for ten consecutive years, with $10 million awarded in total.