Nigerian flag was raised in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, at the inaugural grand finale of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), where 10 African startups competed for $1 million in total grant prize money and a Nigerian medical logistics startup, LifeBank emerged the top startup and ‘Africa Business Hero’.
Represented by founder and CEO, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, LifeBank was awarded a $250,000 cut of the total $1m grant prize. 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.
The seven other finalist startups each got a share of the remaining $500,000 prize money. They are:
Thrive Agric(Nigeria), an agricultural technology-enabled company that works with smallholder farmers to enable them with greater access to finance.
DrugStoc(Nigeria), a cloud-based pharmaceutical IT and logistics platform focused on eliminating counterfeit drugs and expanding access to pharmaceutical products.
Black Swan Tech Ltd (Nigeria), which built WeMUNIZE, an automated scheduling, GPS-enabled SaaS to increase birth registration and early childhood immunisations
UZURI K&Y(Rwanda), an African-inspired eco-friendly shoe brand established by two women entrepreneurs in Rwanda.
J-Palm Liberia (Liberia), which is working create income-earning and employment opportunities through sustainable palm oil production.
Afrikrea.com(Ivory Coast), a ‘Made of Africa’ fashion, art and handicraft online marketplace .
Mumm(Egypt), a virtual cafeteria for businesses and online marketplace for home-based entrepreneurial cooks.
All ten startups pitched to a panel of four judges.
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.
Earlier this week, Jack Ma was in Abuja, Nigeria to attend the Nigeria Digital Economy Summit. There, he charged the Nigerian government to build ‘e-frastructure’ to get every Nigerian on the internet.