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The Biggest Startup Pitch Competition in Africa

USD $100,000 will be awarded to 5 category winners ($10,000 each) as well as one overall winner ($50,000).

What is the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge Pitch Competition?

The GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge will be biggest pitch competition in AFRICA, and your opportunity to become the next unicorn!

With $100,000 total cash prize up for grabs, the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge is the most anticipated pitch competition for entrepreneurs displaying groundbreaking innovations and highlighting their value in front of the world.

Who can apply, and how?

To enter the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Pitch competition, you will need to be one of the exhibiting startups attending GITEX AFRICA, 31 May - 2 Jun. The startups that apply for the competition will then be required to pitch their ideas, with the semi finalists being announced closer to the time of the event.

To become an exhibitor and to apply to the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Pitch Competition, follow the button below and fill out the form so that one of our team members can contact you directly.

 

Hear from a previous winner, Melanin Kapital, from North Star Dubai-edition

"Since participating in the 2022 Supernova Challenge, we have been steadily growing and expanding our reach. The prize fund has been incredibly helpful in supporting our piloting efforts to disburse our green asset financing to micro and small businesses in Kenya and has allowed us to take on new projects and partnerships."

Melanie Keita
Co-Founder & CEO
Melanin Kapital
Kenya

GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge: AFRICA Edition Categories

Participating startups at GITEX AFRICA can apply to the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge in the below categories.

Each winner from each category will get to win an all-expenses paid participation to Expand North Star in Dubai in October, hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy!

Cybersecurity - $10,000

The startup’s product or service is in incident response, security protocol implementation to mitigate cyber threats, cyberattacks and data breaches across the sectors of BFSI, telecommunications and government.

AI and Digital Cities- $10,000

The winner is redefining AFRICA's public digital landscape, ensuring a brighter, more digitally inclusive future. The startup’s product or service explores the limitless possibilities of generative AI and showcases how the technology can drive growth and development across the continent.

Fintech and Blockchain - $10,000

The winner is a fintech startup transforming the financial landscape in AFRICA, from mobile money to blockchain-based platforms.

Healthtech - $10,000

The winner is leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as AI, wearables, and telemedicine to revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.

Sustainability and Agritech - $10,000

The winner is utilizing technology to solve social challenges including energy and environmental fields, or showcasing a product or service in tech-enabled sustainable development.

Overall GITEX AFRICA Supernova Champion - $50,000

The winner will be based on the most innovative, creative and groundbreaking idea of all startups pitching at the GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge.

Pitch Competition Timeline

Final Application Deadline

12 May

Semi-Finalists Announced

19 May

Pitch Prep Online Webinar

22 May

Final Pitch Deck Submission Deadline for Selected Semi-Finalists

23 May

Semi Final Judges

  • Segun Cole is a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO/Founder of ekocab. He has invested in and sits on the board of African tech startups, is President of Startup Huddle Lagos, and an International Partner to the World Business Angel Fund. He is also a Partner of Vertex Fund, Wefunder, Openner, VC, and Zero to One Capital.

    Segun Cole

    Founder
    Fund the Gap Alliance
    Nigeria
    Semi Finals - AI and Digital Cities

  • Head of Startup Programs at InDrive, managing Aurora Tech Award (global prize for women founders) and Underdog Tech Award (international prize for early-stage startups outside big startup communities and tech hubs). Daria has 15+ years of experience in the tech startup ecosystem and VC, business development, and customer experience. Ex-marketing director of the biggest CIS venture fund and producer of a few international startup events and competitions.

    Daria Shubina

    Head of Startup Programs
    inDrive
    Berlin
    Semi Finals - AI and Digital Cities

  • Marcel Dridje, an international advisor to Startup Ecosystems in the EMEA regionMarcel holds different positions as an active investor by being in the leadership of these initiatives: Sophia Business Angels, President Emeritus / European Business Angels Network, Board Member / Mediterranean Business Angels Network, Co-founder / Maghreb Diaspora Business Angel, Co-founder / EuropIA Capital, Board Member.

    Marcel Dridje

    President Emeritus
    Sophia Business Angels
    Qatar
    Semi Finals - AI and Digital Cities

  • Janade du Plessis is a 5-time Fund Manager, co-Founder of Launch Africa Ventures and Five35 Ventures. He has invested in over 200+ start-ups. His background includes M&A/Corporate Finance, Management Consulting and Development Finance. He's an entrepreneur, investment banker and human behavioural researcher.

    Janade du Plessis

    Fund Manager
    Launch Africa
    South Africa
    Semi Finals - Fintech and Blockchain

  • Maha Jouini is an author, founder and African Regional Coordinator of the Global responsible AI hackathon 2023. She speaks about Tech's influence on African economy, and leads campaigns for Free movement and AFCFTA for African youth. She also provides training to African youth.

    Meha Jouini

    Ambassador
    Techmakers
    Mauritania
    Semi Finals - Fintech and Blockchain

  • Sam leads Founders Factory Africa's Venture Studio, taking a design-led approach to problem solving and creating products, services, and business models that are scalable and sustainable. He has an MBA and BA from Yale and Amherst College, leading to inclusive, imaginative, and impactful businesses.

    Sam Strum

    Chief Venture Architect
    Founders Factory
    United Kingdom
    Semi Finals - Healthtech

  • Philippine Dolbeau a tech entrepreneur. Youngest entrepreneur in France, Most Innovative Woman of the Year 2017, one of the "50 Women Who Are Changing the World" next to Michelle Obama… The list is long. She is now Head of Communication, Marketing and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at INSKIP Entrepreneurs, and acts to empower young people and women in launching their dream ideas - no matter how big they are.

    Philippine Dolbeau

    HEAD OF ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEMS
    INSKIP
    France
    Semi Finals - Healthtech

  • Karim Konsowa is an Associate at the Dubai Future District Fund, a venture capital fund of funds and direct investment vehicle backed by the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai International Financial Centre. The fund aims to invest in the Future of Finance and Future Economies to bolster economic development in Dubai, the UAE, and the broader region.
    Prior to joining the Dubai Future District Fund, Karim managed the portfolios of two funds for 500 Global with a combined $100M in AUM and 220 companies in his portfolio.

    Karim Konsawa

    Healthtech Judge
    Investment Assosciate
    Dubai Future District Fund
    UAE

  • Vijay is a serial entrepreneur, a seasoned CEO, and a venture capitalist. He is the Managing Director at Techstars. His investment thesis is focused in fintech, e-commerce, supply chain, logistics and circular economy mostly in emerging markets. In addition he serves on the board of 4 growth stage technology companies: namely KLAIM.AI, Three Wheel United, Aumet, and Neural Space.

    Meyssane Alj Hakim

    Chief of Staff
    Director of Strategic Programs
    Micron Technology
    USA

  • Meyssane has been in the semiconductor industry for nearly a decade, starting as an analyst and growing into a functional manager of spend and revenue. She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Programs and Chief of Staff to the EVP of Global Operations at Micron Technology. Her responsibilities center around providing subject matter expertise to Global Operations teams including Manufacturing, Quality, Supply Chain and Procurement.

    Karima El Hakim

    Country Director - Egypt
    Plug&Play
    Egypt
    Semi Finals - Sustainability & Agritech

  • Ghazi Saddem is a Consultant in Organizational Management and Digital Transformation and Co-Director of Startup Grind Tunis. He has accompanied many startups in the Mediterranean, in the MEA region. Ghazi's mission is to promote digital transformations carried out by innovative startups in society for a better quality of life and a better future of work.

    Ghazi Saddem

    Tunis Chapter Co-Director
    Startup Grind
    Tunisia
    Semi Finals - Sustainability & Agritech

  • Lina Naciri is a seasoned professional in the field of innovation and partnerships, responsible for bringing together entrepreneurs, business executives, academics, innovators, investors, tech enthusiasts and media to explore business opportunities. She is also an International Consultant in Innovation & Partnerships.

    Lina Naciri

    Head of Africa at Afrobytes and Operating Partner at
    Ambo Ventures
    Morocco
    Semi Finals - Cybersecurity

  • Ghita Zniber is a partner at Kalys Ventures, a Moroccan VC fund that focuses on seed and pre-series A startups. The fund has invested so far in 3 companies, in Morocco, Senegal, and Cameroon. She is also a board member of different African startups.

    Ghita Zniber

    Partner
    Kalys Ventures
    Morocco
    Semi Finals - Cybersecurity

Final Judges

  • US Attorney and Investor: mergers and acquisitions, real estate, venture capital, securities, franchising/distributorship, and aircraft finance. Jonathan represents clients with acquisition, disposition, sale, leasing, and financing of real property.

    Jonathan Coury

    US Attorney and Investor
    Ghani Consulting
    USA

  • Yuan-Ting is a venture capitalist and impact investor at SOSV, a global early-stage investor. She has a passion for cross-border collaboration and venture investment, with a particular focus on Africa, Asia, and Europe. Yuan-Ting has extensive experience in digital innovation, agribusiness, financial inclusion, and partnership across emerging economies.

    Yuan-Ting Meng

    Investor and Africa Tech Columnist
    Digitimes
    Taiwan

  • Petra Wolkenstein is a General Partner of Startup Wise Guys Africa Fund, which has invested in 17 early-stage startups in the sub-Saharan region. Petra and her team provide training through the SaaS accelerator programme and the key2investors platform. She was awarded Global Startup Ecosystem Hero of the Year 2023.

    Petra Wolkenstein

    General Partner Africa Fund
    Startup Wise Guys
    Austria

  • Special Representative Dorothy S. McAuliffe was appointed by President Joe Biden to lead the Office of Global Partnerships in the United States Department of State. Her office directly supports the Biden Administration’s commitment to U.S. global leadership by assembling public-private partnerships to advance key national security and foreign policy priorities.

    Dorothy S. McAuliffe

    Special Representative Office of Global Partnerships
    U.S. Department of State
    USA

  • Alicia Levine is Chief Operating Officer for Chipper Cash. Alicia brings experience running and scaling organizations in emerging markets. She is responsible for overseeing Chipper's efficient and scalable organization growth.
    Before Chipper, Alicia serves as COO of EveryLayer and its Kenyan subsidiary, growing the company to 300K+ monthly active users. She has also worked for GSMA, Twilio, and Dow Corning. Alicia holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley.

    Alicia Levine

    Chief Operating Officer
    Chipper Cash
    UK

  • Sheel Mohnot is Co-Founder and GP of Better Tomorrow Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund investing in fintech companies globally. His own startup experience includes 2 successful fintech exits — a payments company and a high-stakes auction company — and he’s GP of the 500 Fintech fund. He formerly worked as a financial services consultant at BCG and started his fintech career at the non-profit p2p lender, Kiva.

    Sheel Mohnot

    Co-Founder and GP
    Better Tomorrow Ventures
    USA

  • Rohan Goswami manages investments, operations, and investor relations at Nexterra Capital. He assists African entrepreneurs with market research, business and financial strategy, and investor readiness.

    Rohan Goswami

    Cybersecurity Judge
    Investor Relations Manager
    Nexterra Capital
    USA

  •  

    Csaba Zoltan Moldovan

    Fintech and Blockchain
    Venture Partner
    Hiventures
    Hungary

FAQs

Overall GITEX AFRICA Supernova Champion: $50,000 cash prize to selected overall winner
Winner per Category: $10,000 cash prize to selected winner per category

The team will be in touch regarding your cash prize and next steps 1 week after GITEX Africa 2023.

If you are not shortlisted, there are many opportunities to engage with investors and the wider GITEX Africa audience. We will be keeping a waitlist in case of any last-minute changes. Please note that we receive hundreds of applications per category and the shortlisting goes through multiple rounds of review to reach only a final 10 for the semi-finals and 2 for the finals.

To enter the GITEX AFRICA Supernova competition, you must be an Exhibiting Startup. If you are not, please contact GitexAfricaSales@dwtc.com

Step 1: Login in to the Exhibitor Portal with your personal login details. If you lost this, please email Gitex.Admin@dwtc.com

Step 2: Go to the “Marketing Zone” section from the top bar and navigate to the “Participate in GITEX AFRICA Supernova Challenge” form section on the left side of the menu

Step 3: Fill in the questions and uploads and click submit

The deadline to submit on the Exhibitor Portal is May 12th, 2023 by Morocco Midnight time. Any date changes will be announced.

Your Pitch Deck must be in ENGLISH.

Here are two good references for you:
https://slidebean.com/blog/pitch-deck-structure

Your Pitch Video must be ONLY 60 Seconds or it will not be considered.
We recommend to submit your Pitch Video in English.
Please shoot your Video to have a clear shot of your upper body (sitting or standing).
If your Pitch Video is in French, please include English subtitles.
Please submit your video by either a YouTube or a Vimeo URL.

Check out Paul Graham’s advice on story telling when pitching. Reference form Y Combinator Startup Library: “Your goal, and your only goal, is to make investors feel it’s not safe to cross you off. And there is a verb for convincing someone that something is not safe. It sounds dramatic, but your goal is to frighten them. What frightens them? The possibility that you might become really big. They know there are maybe a few companies that will become really big….Before you start meeting investors, put together a rough draft of your fundraising vertebrae. These are the 3-4 points that compromise the narrative of why your company will be really big. Together, if investors believed in any of these points, they’d be afraid not to bet on you. As you do, keep in mind that there is an important distinction between what the business is and how you tell the story of what your business is. Your conversations with investors should influence the latter, not the former. No investor knows your business as well as you do.”

The announcements of the shortlisted startups for the semi-finals will be done by May 19th, 2023 by Morocco Midnight time. Any date changes will be announced.

The general judging criteria is broken down to main areas. Please keep these in mind as you design your pitch deck, pitch video, and semi-finals, finals pitches!

  • Idea: How innovative is this idea?
  • Market Opportunity: Market Size, Competition, Scalability
  • Business Model: Revenue Model, Pricing, Target Customers
  • Traction: Any revenue, customers, investors?
  • Team: Is a skilled team in place for the startup’s success?

Judges will also be considering your years of operation and funding stage when evaluating.

The judging panels for all categories of GITEX AFRICA Supernova will be experts in the respective sectors and will be a diverse panel with investment, commercial, and entrepreneurial background in the sector.

3 Minute Pitch + 2 Min Q&A

At the Elevate Stage at GITEX Africa. Find it on the venue map.

Only 1 person can deliver the pitch on stage.

You will be notified by email that you have been shortlisted including the details to attend a GITEX AFRICA Supernova Pitch Prep online session which is taking place on May 22nd , 2023 (1 week before GITEX Africa). Any date changes will be announced.

Your selection email will include the category you’ve been selected to pitch in, location and timing, and presentation requirements.

You will need to have your pitch presentations in 16:9 ratio as a Powerpoint file and a PDF file version. Please share PDFs to make sure your presentation has your correct fonts and formats. If you have any videos as part of your pitch, please send the video file in .mp4 as a separate file. You will be submitting these files by email ONLY if you are shortlisted for the semi-finals and finals which you will be notified about before. Please do not send any files to team members prior to this besides what is required on the Exhibitor portal for the GITEX AFRICA Supernova application.

The team will be in touch if you are shortlisted to move on to the finals. All selection will be made by Day 2 in order to be ready for the Finals on Day 3. Your selection email will include the presentation requirements, location, and timing.

2 Startups are selected per category to pitch in the finals on Day 3.

4 Minute Pitch + 2 Min Q&A per startup

At the 10X stage at GITEX Africa on June 2nd (Day 3). Finalists will receive all the logistics details by Day 2 to know where to go and when.

The judging panels for all categories of GITEX AFRICA Supernova will be experts in the respective sectors and will be a diverse panel with investment, commercial, and entrepreneurial background in the sector.