After an intensive process that started with applications from 200 Southern African social impact startups in five countries, 11 startup finalists competed in the BOOST UP Final Pitch Event at Slush, the world’s largest entrepreneurship event. To get to this point, they participated in the three-part BOOST UP startup support programme organised by the Southern Africa Innovation Collective (SAIC) and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. BOOST UP targets startups that use technology to solve a societal challenge and are looking for skills that could help them pitch their business to would-be investors and clients.
The entrepreneurs started off their journey with BOOST UP Set Up events in each of the partner countries, where the best participants were then selected to compete in the Stand Up national pitch competitions. The 11 winners from each of the national Stand Up competitions, all led by young and talented African entrepreneurs, took part in Set Up. This phase consisted of weekly online incubation sessions followed by an eight-day intensive bootcamp from 23 to 30 November and attending Slush in Helsinki, Finland. On 1 December 2021, the finalists competed in the final pitch competition, which formed part of the official Slush Side Event Rethink Africa: Expanding Opportunities through Technology and Collaboration. The event was organised by SAIS 2 and SAIC in partnership with the Accelerated Growth for MSMEs in Zambia Programme, Think Africa, and Ambitious.Africa, and focused on the opportunities arising from collaboration between African countries and the rest of the world.
After a very close competition filled with high-quality pitches, Fundi App from Tanzania was crowned the winner and received a voucher from SAIS 2 valued at EUR 3,000. The runners up were Hendrecyclers from Zambia followed by PRD Logical Solutions from South Africa.
Click on the video below to watch the play-back of Rethink Africa and the BOOST UP Finals.