East Africa: Orange Launches the 2015 African Social Venture Prize

The Orange Group through Telkom Kenya has launched the call for applications for the fifth edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize as Global Entrepreneurship Summit sets to Kick off this week.

The prize awards three projects with grants of 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 Euros, along with six months of mentorship from Orange. The first prize will also receive free patent registration in the country of the project's deployment.

Internet users are also invited to vote online for their favourite project on Orange's entertainment portal in Africa, StarAfrica.com.

The winner of the "Favourite Project category" will have their project submitted directly to the jury along with the other project finalists to contend for the top three slots.

The Orange African Social Venture Prize showcases entrepreneurs offering innovative products or services that meet the needs of Africans in Africa, in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry or trade to provide a lasting social impact.

"Over the past four years, 2,000 projects have been submitted to the Venture Prize, reflecting the dynamism of African entrepreneurs and the potential of the telecommunications sector in positively impacting communities in Africa. As a result, one of Orange's main priorities is to improve connectivity, particularly in rural areas, and to introduce value-adding mobile services. The Group also provides support by offering a variety of programmes, both to entrepreneurs seeking to create their own company as well as to grow start-ups," says Orange Telkom Kenya's Chief Corporate Communications Officer, George Mlaghui.

In the second edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize in 2012, the TAKACHAR project, a Kenya-based initiative, was the first runner up, taking home 15,000 Euros.

TAKACHAR, which provides an innovative system to improve waste management by using telecommunication to track waste collection in real time, enables cooperatives to operate more efficiently and increase the proportion of organic waste that can be transformed into charcoal.

Any entrepreneur (aged 21 or over) or a legally recognised company that has been in existence for less than three years may participate at no cost and with no restriction on nationality.

Submitted projects must be designed for deployment in at least one of the 17 African countries in which Orange operates and must use information and communications technology in an innovative way to help improve the living conditions of the people in these countries. Applications are to be submitted by September 18, 2015 on Orange's pan-African web portal.
Source: CIO East Africa 21 July 2015

Barclays Africa launches Tech Lab Africa for Health and FinTech Startups

Barclays Africa is looking for start up companies to join our Tech Lab Africa programme in Cape Town. This programme forms part of a global Barclays initiative to plug start-ups, corporates and innovators into a physical and digital global network in order to connect, co-create, and scale solutions that benefit customers.

Tech Lab Africa aims to seek out, attract and support the most innovative, disruptive early stage ventures in the broad fields of FinTech, Digital Health and Health Information Technology. Successful applicants will join a 3 month programme in Cape Town, during which time Tech Lab Africa will work to catapult venture growth through facilitation of high touch engagement with local and international mentors, as well as senior Barclays Africa executives, subject matter experts and industry leaders. Tech Lab Africa will output a portfolio of businesses that Barclays Africa can further support during their growth journey. 8-10 Ventures will be selected to join this exciting programme.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    Formal, registered trading entity established
    You are not already an established or well-known technology business in financial services and your annual revenues for your last financial year are R10 million or less
    You have, at a minimum, a beta product/MVP, evidence of some kind of market traction to demonstrate and are prepared to share access to program partners under NDA
    Can be pre-revenue, but with preference to revenue generating ventures
    Proposition must address or solve existing challenges in the financial services industry OR create opportunities in previously unchartered areas.
    You can show that access to senior-level executives at Barclays and other professional services firms will have a meaningful impact on your growth prospects
    Your senior team can commit to being based in Cape Town throughout the 13-week program with a minimum of 20 hours per week on-site (varies by business stage of venture)
    Prepare and present bi-weekly updates and business pitches and provide weekly updates on progress against agreed objectives
    Agree to the program’s Terms & Conditions as well as the investment conditions as described under the investment section.

Applications are set to  close on 3rd August 2015. Please click the Tech Lab website to apply

Register for Google’s 1st Sub-Saharan Africa Developers Summit

Google is calling on the technical team of startups in the Sub-Saharan Africa region to participate in its first Developers Summit. The participants will have the opportunity to meet Googlers and experts from around the world in talks and hands-on codelabs covering Android Apps with a focus on Material Design, building non-native mobile web apps with a focus on Push Notifications and Offline Page Caching for Chrome and more.

While the event is free to attend, it is strictly by invitation and limited to 70 slots per city. The three cities that will play host to the Summit are Lagos (19th August), Nairobi (22nd August) and Cape Town (25th August).

The expected audience are CTOs, Lead Developers and Lead Designers. If you fit the bill, you can register here.