The first edition of the Digital Africa challenge, launched in October 2016, received more than 500 applications and rewarded 10 startups which convinced the judging panel on the potential impact of their innovation. Building on this success, AFD, Bpifrance and La French Tech have decided to renew the experience with the objective of offering a long-term support to the emergence of mature and solid digital ecosystems, catalysers of new economic opportunities.
Digital technology, a great accelerator of Africa’s development
Digital revolution is transforming the African continent. It’s an innovative catalyst that revolutionizes economies and societies. Ecology, energy, culture, education, artistic creation, governance, media: digital technology has a transversal and multiplying impact in all those key sectors.
« Digital innovation is abundant in Africa. Africans are making a technological leap that accelerates the emergence of the continent. Through Digital Africa, AFD supports emblematic startups of the digital African ecosystems, and fulfills its mission of development in the service of education and innovation, in the digital age. Development is now moving in both directions, between the two shores of the Mediterranean » - Rémy Rioux, AFD Executive Director.
Nicolas Dufourcq, Bpifrance Executive Director claims « We are proud to participate in the Digital Africa challenge and to support 5 French startups in their development on the African continent which nowadays offers great opportunities. This challenge represents a straight continuation of our action for the internalization of enterprises and their cooperation with the African continent ».
« Innovation in Africa is showing extraordinary development, ecosystems are being structured, and startups are spreading across the continent. By promoting the links between French and African entrepreneurs today, our ecosystems are building a common future. Digital Africa is for French Tech an additional step to bring this ambition with Africa », David Monteau, La French Tech Director, Ministry of Economy and Finance.
A fully customized programme
All the startup winners of this second edition of the Digital Africa challenge will benefit from a high visibility and access an international network of partners, clients and investors. They will be part of a community that gathers the best talents of digital innovation in Africa and for Africa, in order to share experiences and good practices.
The 5 African winning startups will be accompanied by the AFD through an “acceleration pack”, a customizable, technical and financial support up to a 30.000 euros value.
The 5 French winning startups will be accompanied by Bpifrance up to a 10.000 euros value support pack to strengthen their expertise and develop new opportunities on the African continent: Bpifrance Université training, networking and discovery trip to Abidjan and Cape Town with the french entrepreneurs community in the French Tech Hubs.
For a young startup, Digital Africa offers a great opportunity to gain a continental and international visibility
What are the selection criteria?
For the second edition of Digital Africa, startups are invited to propose innovative projects linked to the following themes:
- Territory (urban challenge, rural transformation, Smart City,…)
- Citizenship (e-government, civic engagement, activism, alternative media,…)
- Knowledge and creativity (education, formation, creative and cultural industries,…)
- Environment and climate (green tech, clean tech, sustainable transportations, blue economy, renewable energies,…)
The relevance of the solutions proposed, their feasibility, sustainability and potential impact will be key criteria in the selection process divided in several steps:
- An extensive analysis of the projects, of their innovative nature and of their business model;
- A review of the pre-selected projects by AFD and Bpifrance experts;
- A final selection by a jury composed by experts of the technological and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.
Bpifrance finances businesses from the seed phase to transfer to stock exchangelisting, through loans, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance accompanies firms in their innovation projects on an international scale and in their export activities through a wide range of products. The support offered to entrepreneurs also includes consultancy, university, networking opportunities and accelerating programme for startups, SME and middle-market companies. Thanks to Bpifrance and its 48 regional branches, entrepreneurs benefit from a close, unique and efficient support to accompany them to overcome challenges. More information on www.bpifrance.fr
French Tech is the collective name for all those working in the French startup market. It is also an innovative public initiative in the service of this collective. For some years now, French Tech have as a group shown incredible dynamism, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, and other talented people. The French Tech mission is the team that coordinates within the Ministry of Economy and Finance the deployment of the actions of the French Tech initiative launched in November 2013 by the government and structured around 3 axes: federating the ecosystem of startups French, accelerate the growth of startups and spread French Tech internationally. The founding partners of the Initiative are: General Direction of Enterprises, General Direction of the Treasury, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Caisse des Dépôts, Bpifrance, Business France, Commissariat Général pour l'Investissement.
More information on : www.lafrenchtech.com