In search of Africa’s Top 30 tech start-ups is open for entries

Accenture is on the hunt to find Africa’s top tech start-up superstars – the digital pioneers solving critical challenges with technology across the continent. It’s a search for Africa’s big thinkers and big doers – visionaries who fearlessly push the boundaries of progress to shift African innovation to the next level.

Around the world, diverse players are coming together – forming new ecosystems to solve social and business problems. Africa is no exception. Some of the most pivotal parts within these ecosystems are the disruptive tech solution providers – those creating new ways of solving problems, supplying innovative products and offering faster development times and cost-effective delivery.

The Africa top 30 tech start-ups initiative, powered by Accenture Africa alongside publication partner Forbes, runs as part of Accenture’s market-leading focus on open innovation. “Open innovation allows a path for collaboration between established businesses and innovative start-ups with great products, but no direct route to market,” says Sandiso Sibisi, Open Innovation Africa Lead at Accenture South Africa. “African start-ups often struggle to find an opportunity to plug their great technologies into established client value chains. Yet, with the right support, this all becomes possible, opening the doors to amazing opportunities for value creation, benefiting Africa and its people.”

About the initiative

The initiative is open to start-ups from across Africa who are solving the continent’s challenges in business, government, civil society and more. All qualifying entrants are welcome (see rules below). Accenture is also particularly interested in entrants working in the spheres of artificial intelligence, blockchain and security, big data and analytics capabilities, Industry X.0, DevTech and Automation as well as extended reality.

Through careful research and field surveying, Africa’s Top 30 tech start-ups will list and fairly reward Africa’s best. The judging panel will include directors of VCs, tech incubators and accelerators from across the continent, academics as well as corporate sector specialists familiar with open innovation and the integration of start-up technologies into established value chains.

In addition to media exposure, listed companies will also participate in the Accenture Africa led Corporate Market Access Week taking place in Johannesburg in February 2019, where they will have an opportunity to showcase their offerings, sell their ideas to corporates, learn how to pitch for new business, and co-create solutions based on issues faced by Accenture clients. They will also get a chance to display their offerings within the Accenture South Africa’s Liquid Studio for a year and be part of the global Accenture Open Innovation network.

The judging process

Entrants will undergo two rounds of judging. Round 1 will involve quantitative assessments and questionnaires, after which a longlist of top candidates will be decided upon.

Round 2 will identify the final top 30, with judging including a set of qualitative survey questions and analysis of key business metrics, among others.

Rules, important information and how to enter

Applications for Africa’s Top 30 start-ups opened 07 September and will close 07 October 2018.

List of top start-ups will be finalised November 30th and announced alongside the survey results in the Feb/Mar 2019 edition of Forbes Magazine.

Highlights and results of the research process will be published alongside the Africa’s top 30 tech start-ups.

To qualify, start-ups must:

  • Be an African start-up, founded by an African
  • Be a registered business
  • Have been in operation for less than 9 years
  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Target and fill a significant market gap
  • Demonstrate exponential growth
  • Provide a product or service unconstrained by geography

Additional evaluation criteria will include, but not be limited to, businesses’ financial metrics and performance, innovation measures, team experience, knowledge and media attention. Number of employees, impact creation, representation of diversity, patents, business models and more will also be factored into the judges’ final decision.

To enter, visit and follow the instructions.

Fire Starters don’t wait in line. They see further and reach further, always going beyond to solve the challenges they know they can find unique solutions to. Accenture seeks to recognise these unique start-ups and accelerate the transformation of how Africans everywhere work and live.


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