Facebook this week celebrated the achievements of a fast-growing community of African tech entrepreneurs and developers, at the first-ever TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in Africa, sponsored by Facebook. Alongside the event, the company also hosted a week of activities bringing together hot African startups, developers, influencers and community leaders – to share ideas, learn and connect.
Putting the spotlight on Africa’s creative, diverse talent and vibrant technology companies, that are building products and solving problems for local and global audiences, TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa saw 15 startups battle it out to win a US$25,000 prize. Nairobi-based Lori Systems, with its product and service in the Productivity and Utility category, was crowned the overall winner for its logistics and cargo platform for African businesses.
Other winners include:
Gaming and entertainment category winner: Ghanaian based SynCommerce, which lets users list and manage their products and inventory across multiple sales platforms i.e. Shopify, eBay, Etsy
Social good category winner: Ghanian based AgroCenta, an online marketplace for African farmers.
Participant, Lanre Oyedotun, Cofounder & CEO of Delivery Science, a Nigeria based startup, commented: “It’s a great experience to be part of Battlefield. It’s encouraging that global brands like Facebook and TechCrunch are recognizing the talent in Africa. Our solution, FieldInsight, helps large organizations get visibility into their field operations. To be able to showcase this on a Pan-African platform is a privilege.
Speaking at Startup Battlefield Africa, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Partnerships, said: “Congratulations to all the finalists. I’ve been so impressed with what I’ve seen today. Africa truly is a continent with remarkable creativity and talent – it was amazing to see some of Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs showcase their disruptive innovations and tell their stories. I’m looking forward to what Africans will produce in the years to come – truly global products that will become household names.”
Other highlights across the week include:
Facebook Platform Meetup, bought together entrepreneurs, developers, and senior leaders at early-mid-stage startups in Kenya to learn how Facebook’s Platform products can help to accelerate their businesses.
Facebook Developer Circles Africa Masterclass, a three-day training course which brought together 25 Developer Circle leaders from across Sub Saharan Africa.
Developer Circles Nairobi Meetup – celebrating passing its 1,000 member mark, and its sixth meetup, this bought together the Nairobi Developer Circle community in an evening of networking.
Women in Tech event – designed to engage with influential women working in Nairobi’s technology ecosystem and to share Facebook’s mission on Diversity.
Facebook Community event – brought together 12 interesting Facebook community leaders from across Nairobi, including Benard Azegere founder of the Kenyan Ice Hockey League.
SMB, Agency & Content Creators Workshops – workshops which provided advice to Kenyan entrepreneurs, agencies and SMB’s on how to grow their business using Instagram and Facebook
“Facebook emerged from a vibrant startup ecosystem which enabled us to innovate and grow quickly,” said Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for Middle East & Africa. “By supporting events like TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2017, and bringing together an array of Facebook events over the week, our aim is to continually nurture the truly exciting tech ecosystem in Africa.”