Accra, Ghana— Global entrepreneurship development agency StartUp Cup announced the top three winning teams of Africa StartUp Cup Challenge, a regional business model competition for startups from over thirteen StartUp Cup Challenges that took place in Africa in 2015 and 2016. The winning teams competed for in-kind donations, totaling to $229,000 of IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Rackspace services, amongst other sponsorships.

The Africa StartUp Cup Challenge was held in Accra, Ghana in partnership with the U.S. Embassy of Accra and iSpace. Five teams were selected to compete in the regional finals through the local StartUp Cups held across the continent—in Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Each of the startups had three minutes to pitch their business model and present on the progress they have made since winning their local StartUp Cup, followed by fifteen minutes of questions from an international panel of judges.

The winning teams come from Morocco, Uganda and Ghana and represent the communication, restaurant, and financial service sectors. 

Gomobile – Fist Place (Morocco) uses existing technologies to create innovative products, allowing unconnected communities to enjoy the benefits of new technologies. Gomobile applies full adaptation by using mobile phone and voice to bring the benefits of internet, through IVR-like systems, as well as create platforms and digitalization paths. Their mission is to reduce and eliminate the digital divide, and help the unconnected population to reach full digitalization, or connect the unconnected.

Airsave – Second Place (Uganda) is a financial technology company that provides a secure digital mobile saving platform to the 90% unbanked communities across Uganda in partnership with banks and telecoms, using a mobile phone with no access to the internet. Their mission is to empower men, women and youth on how to save, using a mobile phone as a digital saving wallet towards their saving and investment goals, and also bridge the trust between the unbanked people to their local banks and communities using a mobile phone.

KawaMoka – Third Place (Ghana) is a retailer of premium coffee and tea from across Africa. The company, which has positioned coffee stands in most part of Ghana’s capital, Accra, provides quality and personalized products made from Ghana’s own cocoa and coffee.

“From what we have seen over the last five years of operating StartUp Cups in Africa, the entrepreneurs of Africa are having a significant impact on the African economy and inspiring a whole new generation of aspiring African entrepreneurs to following their dreams. You are the new heroes of Africa!” said Sean Griffin, CEO and Founder of StartUp Cup.

Emmanuel Nyame, Regional Organizer for Africa StartUp Cup, reiterated that, “Our winners represent the solution providers of tomorrow. Their unique businesses are poised to trigger new set of innovations on the African market.” He further extended his gratitude to sponsors of the program for the kind support, and all judges for the time commitment. Special mention goes to our other two competitors who pitched their businesses and participated in our regional Africa StartUp Cup competition: Dzinee from Sudan and El Hamra, from Algeria.

The Africa StartUp Cup was supported by the US Department of State, Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, Amazon Web Services, USAID EDMC, .CO, Scotch and Palm Law Group, Alisa hotels, iya ventures, RiseUp Summit (Egypt) , Rackspace, BellaNaija, Women in Tech Africa, Voltic, Accra Breweries Limited, iPay, Ethiopian Airways, Gadget,Ameyaw Debrah, Hello Food, Pulse Ghana, CNBC Africa, LIONS@FRICA, KwakuDavid Photography, Shade Systems EA, Zooba Shop, Africa.com, Disrupt Africa, and VentureBurn.

ABOUT STARTUP CUP

StartUp Cup® manages an international portfolio of entrepreneurial programs proven to grow entrepreneurs, jobs and enhance entrepreneurial ecosystems. StartUp Cup represents a global network of hyper-local StartUp Cup accelerators featuring business model competitions and WECREATE women entrepreneurship centers in more than 60 countries. Our focus is on applying innovative technical skills by serving as global leaders in entrepreneurial job creation and the generation of investment-ready businesses.