Over the weekend in Ghana, ten African startups won a total of $1 million at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), and Nigerian startups emerged the biggest winners. The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is Jack Ma’s flagship entrepreneur programme in Africa, led by the Jack Ma Foundation. Jack Ma set up the ANPI following his first visit to Africa in 2017 where he was reportedly inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.
By the end of the maiden edition, Nigerian medical logistics startup, LifeBank emerged the top startup, as founder and CEO, Temie Giwa-Tubosun was also crowned ‘Africa Business Hero’. LifeBank was awarded a $250,000 cut of the total grand prize while the first and second runner-up startups, Nawah Scientific — an Egyptian-based private research centre — and safe water micro-grid provider, Water Access Rwanda took home $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.
— Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (@AFNetpreneurs) November 16, 2019
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:
- Thrive Agric: An Agric-tech company that works with smallholder farmers to enable them with greater 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
The panel of judges at the event included Jack Ma, the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika, Joe Tsai, the Executive Vice-Chairman, Alibaba Group, and Zimbabwean serial entrepreneur and billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa.
Other winners from across Africa include Afrikrea.com from Ivory Coast, J-Palm Liberia from Liberia, Mumm from Egypt, and Uzuri K&Y from Rwanda.