Firms unveil national startups competition

DAR ES SALAAM: ACCELERATE Africa Tanzania in collaboration with AIM Startups on Wednesday launched a competition, where startups will battle it out to win a ticket to attend the AIM Congress 2024 in May

The competition application is open until mid-next month and a winning startup will get a ticket to attend the AIM Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Accelerate Africa Country Coordinator, Ms Pendo Lema, said the pitch competition offers opportunities for startups to showcase their

innovative ideas, game-changing technologies and disruptive solutions.

“Whether you are just starting out or have already gained some traction, this is the stage where you can capture the spotlight and accelerate your growth,”

she said, “and get the chance to make a lasting impression in the tech world.”

Some of the benefits of the competition are gaining valuable exposure to a wide range of industry experts, venture capitalists and influential

decision-makers who can take the startups to the next level.

On networking, she said the participants will connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, potential strategic

partners and mentors who can offer valuable insights, guidance and support throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

Through the forum, she said the startups can secure potential investments from investors or seed funds

that are actively looking for the “next big thing” to invest in.

“Being selected as a finalist or winner of the competition is a strong validation of the potential of your startup, which can

greatly enhance credibility and attract further interest,” Ms Lema said.

The applicants must be in the pre-seed or seed stage, should have a team of five employees, from the technology sector, and have an innovative and scalable business model and have at least one senior tech professional in the team.

The organisers said since there will be only one winner out of the 20

that will be shortlisted by judges, they called on sponsors to come up and

sponsor other startups to the congress.

The competition came timely since the country’s startups face limited access to funding, inadequate infrastructure, and a talent gap.

A latest report—Africa: The Big Deal 2023–highlights the plain funding disparity between Tanzania and Kenya.

While Nairobi secured a staggering 800 million US dollars last year, Dar es Salaam managed a modest 25 million US dollars, a 69 per cent drop from the previous year’s 80.7 million US dollars.

Accelerate Africa operates in more than 20 African countries.

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