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ELIGIBILITY

  • Nominate organizations, programs or institutions that support entrepreneurs or impact the stratup ecosystem.
  • Individuals active in the ecosystem are encouraged to self-nominate
  • Past winners are eligible to reapply
  • Each participant may submit up to five nominations per category
  • Nominees must be engaged in the startup ecosystem across any of the 5A African countries
Ecosystem Builder Champion of the Year

The Ecosystem Builder Champion of the Year Award recognizes an individual who excels in connecting, empowering, and collaborating within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They are system entrepreneurs dedicated to uplifting the entire community towards its potential.

  • Exceptional Connectivity: Evaluation of the individual’s ability to establish and maintain strong connections with diverse stakeholders within the ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, investors, government agencies, and support organizations.
  • Empowerment Initiatives: Assessment of the individual’s efforts in empowering entrepreneurs and startups through mentorship, training programs, access to resources, and opportunities for growth.
  • Collaboration Skills: Recognition of the individual’s proficiency in fostering collaborations and partnerships among different ecosystem players, leading to synergistic outcomes and collective impact.
  • Innovative Approaches: Review of the innovative strategies and initiatives implemented by the individual to address challenges and seize opportunities within the ecosystem, demonstrating creativity and forward-thinking.
  • Measurable Impact: Examination of the tangible impact created by the individual’s efforts, such as the number of startups supported, jobs created, investment attracted, and overall ecosystem growth.
  • Leadership Abilities: Assessment of the individual’s leadership qualities and effectiveness in inspiring, guiding, and mobilizing others towards shared goals and collective action.
  • Community Focus: Consideration of the individual’s dedication to serving the needs and interests of the local entrepreneurial community, fostering a sense of belonging, collaboration, and mutual support.
  • Commitment to Inclusivity: Evaluation of the individual’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the ecosystem, ensuring equal access to opportunities and resources for all stakeholders.
Corporate –Startup Collaboration Champion of the Year

This award recognizes a corporation that has shown outstanding support for startups and innovation in Africa, making a significant impact on the startup ecosystem in their community or country.

  • Support for Startups: Evaluation of the corporation’s dedicated support for startups within their local community or country, including initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, providing resources, and offering mentorship to startups.
  • Partnership with Startups: Analysis of the corporation’s efforts in forming strategic partnerships and collaborations with startups in their community or country, including joint ventures, pilot projects, and innovation partnerships.
  • Investment in Innovation: Examination of the corporation’s investment in innovation within their community or country, including funding support for startups, corporate venture capital initiatives, and investment in research and development.
  • Promotion of Entrepreneurial Culture: Recognition of the corporation’s initiatives aimed at promoting an entrepreneurial culture within their community or country, such as hackathons, innovation challenges, and entrepreneurship training programs.
Social Entrepreneurship Support Initiative of the Year

The Social Entrepreneurship Support Initiative of the Year Award celebrates organizations that excel in supporting social entrepreneurship ventures within the ecosystem. This accolade acknowledges initiatives demonstrating exceptional dedication to nurturing startups addressing pressing social issues and fostering positive societal impact.

  • Success in Supporting Social Startups: Evaluation of the organization’s success in providing support to social startups, including incubation, acceleration, mentorship, and access to resources tailored to their unique needs.
  • Impact on Social Issues: Assessment of the organization’s impact on addressing societal challenges through the ventures it supports, including measurable outcomes related to social, environmental, or economic impact.
  • Innovative Support Mechanisms: Examination of the creativity and adaptability of support mechanisms provided to social ventures, including the development of innovative programs, tools, and resources to help startups achieve their social missions.
  • Depth of Impact on Societal Challenges: Consideration of the depth and breadth of the organization’s impact on addressing societal challenges, including the scale of change achieved and the sustainability of the solutions implemented by supported startups.
Angel Investor Champion of the Year

The Angel Investor Champion of the Year award celebrates an individual who has provided critical early-stage funding and support to African startups, playing a vital role in the growth and success of the startup ecosystem.

  • Number of Investments: Evaluation of the quantity of investments made by the individual in African startups, reflecting their commitment to supporting early-stage ventures.
  • Success of Portfolio Companies: Assessment of the performance and success of the portfolio companies in which the individual has invested, including factors such as revenue growth, market traction, and successful exits.
  • Active Involvement in the Startup Community: Consideration of the individual’s active involvement in the startup community, including participation in events, mentorship of entrepreneurs, and engagement with startup support organizations.
  • Contribution to the Overall Growth of the Startup Ecosystem: Examination of the individual’s broader contribution to the growth and development of the startup ecosystem in Africa, including initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, promoting innovation, and supporting ecosystem-building activities.
Ecosystem Funder of the Year Award

The Ecosystem Funder of the Year Award celebrates organizations that have shown exceptional dedication to funding and supporting the growth of the startup ecosystem across Africa. Whether through venture capital investments, specialized financial products and services, or innovative funding initiatives, these organizations have significantly contributed to fostering entrepreneurship and driving ecosystem development.

  • Investment Volume: Evaluation of the organization’s investment volume in startups and ecosystem development initiatives across Africa. This includes assessing the total amount of capital invested, as well as the frequency and consistency of investments made.
  • Successful Portfolio Companies: Assessment of the organization’s track record in supporting successful portfolio companies and ecosystem projects. This involves considering factors such as the performance, growth, and impact of startups and initiatives funded by the organization.
  • Tailored Financial Products and Services: Examination of the organization’s provision of tailored financial products and services to support startups and ecosystem development. This includes analyzing the range and quality of financial products offered, as well as their effectiveness in meeting the diverse needs of entrepreneurs and ecosystem stakeholders.
  • Innovation and Impact: Consideration of the organization’s innovation in funding models and its impact on ecosystem development. This involves assessing the organization’s efforts to develop and implement innovative funding mechanisms, as well as its contribution to driving positive change and sustainability within the startup ecosystem.
Woman in STEAM of the Year

The Woman in STEAM Champion of the Year award celebrates a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributions in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) within the startup ecosystem. It recognizes her significant impact and influence in driving innovation and progress in these critical areas.

  • Influence and Accomplishments in STEAM Sectors: Evaluation of the woman’s outstanding influence and accomplishments in STEAM sectors, including her contributions to advancements, innovations, and thought leadership within these fields.
  • Initiatives to Empower Women in STEAM: Consideration of initiatives led by the woman to empower women and promote their engagement in STEAM, such as mentorship programs, educational initiatives, or advocacy efforts aimed at fostering gender diversity and inclusion in STEAM fields.
  • Leadership and Impact in the Startup Ecosystem: Assessment of the woman’s leadership and impact within the startup ecosystem, including her role in supporting and mentoring startup founders and her contributions to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in STEAM-related startups.
  • Advocacy for Gender Diversity and Inclusion: Recognition of the woman’s advocacy efforts aimed at promoting gender diversity and inclusion in STEAM fields, including initiatives to address gender biases, barriers to entry, and inequalities in access to opportunities within STEAM disciplines.
Ecosystem Development Partner of the Year

The Ecosystem Development Partner of the Year Award celebrates a development agency or partner that has made substantial investments and contributions to the growth of the ecosystem. This accolade acknowledges their significant efforts in fostering a thriving and sustainable entrepreneurial environment.

  • Contributions to Ecosystem Development: Evaluation of the agency or partner’s contributions to ecosystem development, including initiatives and investments aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, supporting startup growth, and creating an enabling environment for innovation.
  • Impact of Strategic Partnerships: Assessment of the impact of strategic partnerships formed by the agency or partner, including collaborations with government entities, corporations, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to drive ecosystem growth and development.
  • Sustainability of Development Efforts: Examination of the long-term sustainability of the agency or partner’s efforts in supporting the ecosystem’s development, including the effectiveness of their programs, initiatives, and investments in creating lasting impact and driving continued growth.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Recognition of innovative approaches and creative strategies employed by the agency or partner to foster ecosystem development, including the implementation of novel programs, initiatives, or funding mechanisms to support entrepreneurship and startup growth.
Startup Coach of the Year

The Startup Coach of the Year Award celebrates outstanding individuals or organizations that provide coaching services to startups within their community, country, or beyond. These coaches play a pivotal role in guiding entrepreneurs, refining their strategies, honing their skills, and ultimately helping them achieve their business objectives.

  • Track Record of Coaching Startups: Evaluation of the coach’s track record in coaching startups, including the number of startups coached, the duration of coaching engagements, and the diversity of industries or sectors served.
  • Success of Coached Companies: Assessment of the success of companies that have been coached by the nominee, considering factors such as revenue growth, market traction, fundraising achievements, and successful exits.
  • Contribution to the Growth of Startups: Examination of the coach’s contribution to the growth and development of startups, including their role in helping startups overcome challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve sustainable growth.
  • Influence on the Wider Startup Community: Recognition of the coach’s influence on the wider startup community, including their contributions to knowledge sharing, mentorship, and ecosystem-building initiatives. This may include their involvement in startup events, workshops, and educational programs aimed at supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.
Startup Mentor of the Year

The Startup Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional individual or organization that provides mentorship to startups within their community, country, or beyond. They serve as trusted advisors, offering guidance, wisdom, and support on the entrepreneurial journey.

  • Track Record of Mentoring Startups: Evaluation of the mentor’s history and effectiveness in providing mentorship to startups. This includes assessing the number of startups mentored, the duration of mentorship relationships, and the depth of support provided.
  • Success of Mentored Companies: Assessment of the success and achievements of companies mentored by the individual or organization. This involves considering factors such as revenue growth, market traction, funding raised, and successful exits.
  • Commitment to the Growth of Startups: Evaluation of the mentor’s dedication to fostering the growth and development of startups. This includes assessing their willingness to invest time, resources, and expertise in supporting startups beyond mentorship sessions.
  • Influence on the Wider Startup Community: Consideration of the mentor’s influence and impact on the broader startup community. This involves examining their role in sharing knowledge, networking, and promoting collaboration among startups, mentors, investors, and other stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Entrepreneurship Education Champion of the Year

The Entrepreneurship Education Champion of the Year Award honors training and educational institutions or programs that embody an entrepreneurial mindset and promote problem-solving within the ecosystem. These champions not only disseminate knowledge but also foster a culture of innovation, resilience, and problem-solving among aspiring entrepreneurs.

  • Innovation in Entrepreneurship Programs: Evaluation of the creativity and innovation demonstrated in entrepreneurship education programs offered by the institution or program. This includes assessing the development of new methodologies, curricula, or learning approaches that cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and problem-solving skills among students.
  • Impact on the Ecosystem: Assessment of the tangible impact of entrepreneurship education programs on the startup ecosystem. This involves measuring outcomes such as the number of successful startups founded by program alumni, job creation, and contributions to economic growth and innovation within the ecosystem.
  • Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Access to Education: Consideration of the institution or program’s collaborative efforts to broaden access to entrepreneurship education. This includes partnerships with other stakeholders such as government agencies, industry organizations, or non-profits to increase the reach and effectiveness of entrepreneurship education initiatives.
  • Promotion of Entrepreneurial Mindset and Problem-Solving: Evaluation of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education programs in instilling an entrepreneurial mindset and problem-solving skills among students. This includes assessing the program’s focus on fostering creativity, resilience, adaptability, and critical thinking, which are essential qualities for successful entrepreneurship.
Startup Service Provider of the Year

The Startup Service Provider of the Year Award celebrates organizations offering innovative services that benefit Startups within the ecosystem. This accolade recognizes providers delivering essential services like marketing, HR, legal, or technology development, vital for Startup growth and sustainability

  • Service Innovation: Evaluation of the provider’s inventive approach in delivering services tailored to Startups unique needs. This may involve introducing new technologies, methodologies, or business models.

    Impact on Startups: Assessment of the measurable benefits experienced by Startups utilizing the services. This can include increased efficiency, productivity, or accelerated growth.

    Contributions to Ecosystem Operational Efficiency: Recognition of the provider’s role in improving the overall operational efficiency of the ecosystem. This could encompass streamlining processes, reducing costs, or enhancing access to critical resources.

Ecosystem Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year

The Ecosystem Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year Award recognizes initiatives that have significantly advanced diversity and inclusion within the startup ecosystem.

  • Impactful Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion: Evaluation of the initiative’s impact in promoting diversity and inclusion within the startup ecosystem, including measurable outcomes such as increased representation of underrepresented groups and enhanced inclusivity.
  • Innovative Practices: Assessment of the initiative’s innovative practices and approaches in fostering diversity and inclusion, including unique strategies, programs, or policies implemented to create a more inclusive environment for all entrepreneurs.
  • Engagement with Diverse Communities: Consideration of the initiative’s engagement with diverse communities within the startup ecosystem, including efforts to collaborate with and empower individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Sustainability and Scalability: Examination of the initiative’s sustainability and scalability, including its potential for long-term impact and expansion to reach a broader audience.
Coworking Space of the Year

The Coworking Space of the Year award recognizes a coworking space that has provided an exceptional environment for startups and entrepreneurs in Africa, offering collaborative workspaces and valuable resources.

  • Quality of Facilities: Evaluation of the coworking space’s facilities, including workspace design, amenities, technology infrastructure, and overall comfort.
  • Community Engagement: Assessment of the level of engagement within the coworking community, including networking events, workshops, and collaborative projects.
  • Support Services Provided: Consideration of the range and quality of support services offered to members, such as mentorship programs, access to funding opportunities, and business development resources.
  • Contribution to Startup Growth and Development: Recognition of the coworking space’s impact on the growth and development of startups, including success stories, partnerships formed, and support provided to member startups.
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Startup Event Initiative of the Year

The Startup Event Initiative of the Year award recognizes events that have showcased and promoted African startups and innovation, providing platforms for networking, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities

  • Event Impact: Evaluation of the event’s impact on the startup ecosystem, including its ability to attract participants, generate media coverage, and facilitate meaningful connections and collaborations.
  • Quality of Programming: Assessment of the overall quality and relevance of the event’s programming, including keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions.
  • Engagement of Startups: Consideration of the level of participation and engagement of startups in the event, including opportunities for pitching, showcasing products/services, and connecting with investors and potential partners.
  • Industry Influence: Evaluation of the event’s influence within the startup ecosystem and its ability to shape industry trends, foster innovation, and promote entrepreneurship.
  • Contribution to the Growth of the Startup Ecosystem: Recognition of the event’s contribution to the overall growth and development of the startup ecosystem, including its role in fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and ecosystem-building initiatives.
Immigrant Ecosystem Builder Champion of the Year

The Immigrant Ecosystem Builder of the Year award recognizes an immigrant, migrant, or refugee who excels in connecting, empowering, and collaborating within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They are system entrepreneurs dedicated to uplifting the entire community towards its potential.

  • Exceptional Connectivity: Evaluation of the individual’s ability to build strong connections and networks within the ecosystem, facilitating collaboration and resource-sharing among stakeholders.
  • Empowerment Initiatives: Assessment of the individual’s efforts in empowering entrepreneurs and startups, including mentorship programs, skills development workshops, and access to funding opportunities.
  • Collaboration Skills: Recognition of the individual’s skill in fostering partnerships and collaborations among diverse stakeholders, leading to collective impact and growth.
  • Innovative Approaches: Review of the innovative strategies and approaches implemented by the individual to address challenges and seize opportunities within the ecosystem.
  • Measurable Impact: Examination of the tangible impact created by the individual’s efforts, such as the growth of startups, job creation, and economic development within the community.
  • Leadership Abilities: Assessment of the individual’s leadership qualities and effectiveness in guiding and inspiring others towards common goals within the ecosystem.
  • Community Focus: Consideration of the individual’s commitment to serving the needs and interests of the local entrepreneurial community, ensuring inclusivity and equal access to opportunities for all.
  • Commitment to Inclusivity: Evaluation of the individual’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the ecosystem, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive.
Youth Ecosystem Builder of the Year

The Youth Ecosystem Builder of the Year award honors young individuals under 30 who are making significant contributions to supporting and building the ecosystem.

  • Ecosystem Contributions: Evaluation of the individual’s contributions to the growth and development of the startup ecosystem, including initiatives, projects, or activities that have positively impacted entrepreneurs and startups.
  • Leadership: Assessment of the individual’s leadership qualities and ability to inspire and motivate others within the ecosystem, including their role in leading teams, organizing events, or driving initiatives.
  • Innovation: Recognition of the individual’s innovative approaches and creative solutions to address challenges or seize opportunities within the ecosystem, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Youth Engagement in Entrepreneurship: Consideration of the individual’s involvement in engaging and empowering youth to participate in entrepreneurship, including mentorship, education, and advocacy efforts.
Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO) of the Year

The Entrepreneur Support Organization of the Year award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs in Africa, providing them with resources, connections, and opportunities to grow and thrive.

  • Demonstrated Impact in Supporting Entrepreneurs: Evaluation of the organization’s impact in supporting entrepreneurs, including the number of entrepreneurs assisted, success stories, and measurable outcomes achieved.
  • Collaboration with Stakeholders: Assessment of the organization’s collaboration with stakeholders within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, including government agencies, investors, corporates, incubators, accelerators, and other support organizations.
  • Innovative Support Programs: Recognition of the organization’s innovative programs and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs, such as mentorship programs, training workshops, access to finance initiatives, and networking events.
  • Contribution to the Growth and Development of Entrepreneurs and the Startup Ecosystem: Consideration of the organization’s contribution to the overall growth and development of entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem, including efforts to foster innovation, create jobs, and drive economic growth.
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Government Initiative for Startups of the Year

The Government Initiative for Startups of the Year award acknowledges a government initiative that has effectively supported and promoted the growth of startups in their country and beyond, fostering an enabling environment for entrepreneurship.

  • Initiative Impact: Evaluation of the impact of the government initiative on the startup ecosystem, including job creation, economic growth, innovation, and overall startup success.
  • Engagement with the Startup Ecosystem: Assessment of the level of engagement and collaboration between the government initiative and stakeholders within the startup ecosystem, such as startups, incubators, accelerators, and industry associations.
  • Policies that Support Entrepreneurship and Startups: Consideration of the policies implemented or supported by the government initiative that promote entrepreneurship, ease regulatory burdens, and facilitate startup development.
  • Commitment to Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Evaluation of the government’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through initiatives such as funding programs, mentorship schemes, and innovation hubs.
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Startup Research and Development Initiative of the Year

The Startup Research and Development Initiative of the Year award recognizes an R&D project or initiative that has made a significant impact on the startup ecosystem by introducing innovative products, services, or methodologies.

  • Breakthroughs in Research: Evaluation of the degree of innovation and breakthrough achieved through the R&D initiative, including advancements in technology, processes, or methodologies relevant to startups.
  • Contribution to Industry Knowledge: Assessment of the initiative’s contribution to expanding industry knowledge, understanding, or capabilities within the startup ecosystem, including publications, patents, or other forms of knowledge dissemination.
  • Successful Application of R&D in the Startup Environment: Consideration of the effectiveness and practical application of the R&D initiative within the startup environment, including the adoption and integration of innovative products, services, or methodologies by startups.
  • Impact on Startup Growth: Evaluation of the initiative’s impact on the growth and development of startups, including improvements in product/service offerings, market competitiveness, and scalability.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Assessment of the initiative’s collaboration and partnerships with startups, research institutions, industry experts, or other stakeholders to enhance R&D efforts and foster innovation.
Policy Initiative of the Year

The Policy Initiative of the Year award recognizes projects or initiatives that have significantly influenced policy-making or implementation in support of the startup ecosystem. It highlights efforts to advocate for regulatory reforms, create conducive environments for entrepreneurship, and address systemic challenges.

  • Impact on Policy Development or Implementation: Evaluation of the project or initiative’s impact on shaping policy decisions or implementing reforms that support the startup ecosystem.
  • Effectiveness in Addressing Key Ecosystem Issues: Assessment of the effectiveness of the project or initiative in addressing critical issues faced by startups, such as access to funding, regulatory barriers, talent retention, or market access.
  • Contribution to Creating a Supportive Environment for Startups: Consideration of the extent to which the project or initiative has contributed to creating a supportive environment for startups to thrive, including fostering innovation, promoting entrepreneurship culture, and enhancing access to resources.
  • Innovation in Approach: Recognition of innovative approaches and strategies employed by the project or initiative to influence policy-making or address ecosystem challenges.
  • Scalability Potential: Evaluation of the potential scalability of the project or initiative’s approach, considering its adaptability to other regions, sectors, or policy contexts.
  • Measurable Outcomes Achieved: Assessment of the tangible outcomes and achievements resulting from the project or initiative, such as policy reforms enacted, changes in regulatory frameworks, or improvements in startup ecosystem indicators.
Innovation Hub of the Year

The Innovation Hub of the Year award celebrates an innovation hub that has been at the forefront of supporting and nurturing startups, providing them with a conducive environment, resources, and opportunities for growth.

  • Quality of Infrastructure and Facilities: Evaluation of the innovation hub’s infrastructure and facilities, including workspace amenities, technological resources, and accessibility for startups.
  • Support Services Provided: Assessment of the range and quality of support services offered by the innovation hub, such as mentorship, networking opportunities, training programs, and access to funding.
  • Successful Track Record of Startups Supported: Consideration of the innovation hub’s track record in supporting startups, including the number of successful ventures incubated, raised funding, or achieved significant milestones.
  • Engagement with the Broader Startup Ecosystem: Evaluation of the innovation hub’s engagement with the broader startup ecosystem, including partnerships with other hubs, collaborations with industry stakeholders, and contributions to ecosystem development initiatives.
Ecosystem Collaboration Champion of the Year

The Ecosystem Collaboration of the Year award acknowledges a collaborative effort or partnership between different stakeholders in the startup ecosystem that has resulted in significant positive outcomes and collective impact.

  • Demonstrated Collaboration Among Various Ecosystem Players: Evaluation of the level of collaboration demonstrated among different stakeholders in the startup ecosystem, including government entities, corporates, investors, academia, and others.
  • Measurable Outcomes Achieved Through Collaboration: Assessment of the tangible outcomes and achievements resulting from the collaborative effort or partnership, such as increased startup growth, job creation, innovation, or economic impact.
  • Scalability Potential of the Collaborative Model: Recognition of the potential scalability of the collaborative model employed by the initiative, considering its ability to be replicated or expanded to other regions, sectors, or ecosystems.
  • Inclusivity and Diversity: Evaluation of the inclusivity and diversity within the collaborative effort or partnership, including the representation of various demographics, industries, and geographic regions.
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Investor Readiness and Matching Initiative of the Year

The Investor Readiness and Matching Initiative of the Year award acknowledges initiatives that excel in preparing Startups for investment and facilitating connections with potential investors within the African Startup ecosystem. This award recognizes programs or initiatives that demonstrate outstanding commitment to enhancing the readiness of Startups to attract investment and effectively match them with suitable investors.

  • Effectiveness in Investor Preparation: Evaluation of the initiative’s success in preparing Startups for investment by providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to attract potential investors.
  • Facilitation of Investor Connections: Assessment of the initiative’s ability to facilitate meaningful connections between Startups and potential investors, including venture capitalists, angel investors, and other funding sources.
  • Track Record of Success: Consideration of the initiative’s track record in facilitating successful investment deals and funding rounds for Startups within the African Startup ecosystem.
  • Innovative Approaches: Recognition of innovative approaches and strategies employed by the initiative to enhance investor readiness and facilitate successful investor matching for Startups.
  • Impact on Startup Growth: Evaluation of the impact of the initiative on the growth and scalability of Startups, measured by metrics such as increased funding, business expansion, and market traction.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Assessment of the initiative’s collaborations and partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including investors, Startup support organizations, and government agencies, to strengthen the ecosystem’s investment readiness and matching capabilities.
  • Sustainability and Scalability: Consideration of the sustainability and scalability of the initiative’s efforts in enhancing investor readiness and matching capabilities, ensuring long-term impact and effectiveness in supporting Startups across the African Startup ecosystem.
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Ecosystem Media & Content Creator of the Year

The Ecosystem Media & Content Creator of the Year award recognizes a content platform (such as a blog, podcast, journalist, content creator, or video channel) that consistently delivers valuable insights, news, and resources to the startup ecosystem, aiding in education and information dissemination for the African startup ecosystem.

  • Quality and Relevance of Content: Evaluation of the caliber and relevance of content provided by the platform, considering its accuracy, depth, originality, and usefulness to the startup community.
  • Reach and Engagement with the Ecosystem: Assessment of the platform’s reach and engagement metrics, including audience size, audience demographics, website traffic, social media following, and interaction levels.
  • Support for Startup Visibility: Recognition of the platform’s efforts in promoting startup visibility and showcasing innovative ventures within the ecosystem through featured content, interviews, or profiles.
  • Contributions to Ecosystem Knowledge Sharing: Evaluation of the platform’s contributions to ecosystem knowledge sharing, including the dissemination of best practices, industry insights, trends analysis, and thought leadership content.
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Cross-Border Collaboration Initiative

The Cross-Border Collaboration Initiative award acknowledges an initiative or program that has successfully fostered collaboration and knowledge exchange between different African countries, promoting regional integration and cooperation within the startup ecosystem.

  • Demonstrated Cross-Border Collaboration: Evaluation of the extent to which the initiative or program has facilitated meaningful collaboration and knowledge exchange between startups, entrepreneurs, organizations, or governments across different African countries.

    Impact on Regional Startup Ecosystem Development: Assessment of the initiative’s impact on the development and growth of the regional startup ecosystem, including its contributions to enhancing cross-border trade, investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

    Scalability Potential of the Collaboration Model: Recognition of the scalability potential of the collaboration model employed by the initiative, considering its adaptability and replicability across other regions or sectors within Africa.

    Measurable Outcomes Achieved: Evaluation of the tangible outcomes and achievements resulting from the initiative, such as increased cross-border partnerships, startup success stories, job creation, economic growth, and regional integration.

Technology Transfer & Commercialization Champion of the Year

The Technology Transfer & Commercialization Champion of the Year Award recognizes an initiative or program that has demonstrated exceptional leadership and success in innovation, technology transfer, and commercialization efforts. This prestigious award celebrates champions who have played a pivotal role in transferring technology from research institutions or corporations to startups and have excelled in driving the commercialization of these technologies.

  • Impact and Reach: The nominee must have made a significant impact on the startup ecosystem, demonstrating successful technology transfer to a notable number of startups across different sectors and regions.
  • Commercialization Success: The nominee should have a proven track record of successfully commercializing technology and supporting startups in bringing innovative products or services to market. Evidence of startups’ growth, revenue generation, and market penetration will be considered.
  • Entrepreneurial Support: The nominee should provide comprehensive support and resources to entrepreneurs and startups throughout the technology transfer and commercialization process. This support includes mentorship, training, funding, and access to local networks.
  • Leadership and Vision: The nominee should exhibit strong leadership qualities, with a clear vision and passion for driving change and innovation within the startup ecosystem. Leadership qualities such as resilience, adaptability, and vision will be considered.
Startup Financing Initiative of the Year

The Startup Financing Initiative of the Year award acknowledges a financing initiative or program that has effectively facilitated access to capital for startups in Africa, supporting their growth and scalability.

  • Impact on Startup Funding Landscape: Evaluation of the initiative’s impact on the startup funding landscape in Africa, including the extent to which it has increased the availability of capital for startups and influenced investment trends.
  • Successful Investments Made: Assessment of the success of investments made through the initiative, considering factors such as the number of funded startups, the amount of funding raised, and the subsequent growth and performance of funded companies.
  • Innovative Financing Models: Recognition of the initiative’s use of innovative financing models or approaches to support startups, including crowdfunding platforms, venture debt, revenue-based financing, or other alternative funding mechanisms.
  • Contribution to Addressing the Funding Gap for African Startups: Examination of the initiative’s contribution to addressing the funding gap for startups in Africa, particularly for early-stage and underserved founders, and its effectiveness in bridging the gap between startups and investors.
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Incubator of the Year

The Accelerator of the Year award recognizes a standout accelerator program that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to accelerating the growth and success of startups in Africa. This award honors an accelerator that not only provides capital but also extensive mentorship, resources, and networking opportunities to propel startups to new heights. The recipient of this award exemplifies leadership in innovation, scalability, and impactful support, significantly advancing the startups’ journey from early-stage to investment-ready companies

  • Program Structure and Execution: Effective design and delivery of accelerator programs that offer a clear, impactful pathway for startup development. Evaluation will consider the duration, curriculum, mentorship, and support services provided.
  • Success Outcomes: Demonstrated track record of successful startup outcomes, including growth metrics, fundraising achievements, market entry, and expansion. Success stories and case studies will be reviewed.
  • Mentorship and Network: Quality and extent of mentorship provided, including the expertise of mentors and the strategic networking opportunities that connect startups with industry leaders, investors, and potential customers.
  • Innovation and Adaptability: Implementation of innovative strategies within the accelerator program and adaptability to the changing needs of startups and market dynamics.
  • Impact on Ecosystem: Contributions to the broader startup ecosystem, including collaborations with other ecosystem players and efforts to foster a thriving entrepreneurial culture.
  • Recognition and Testimonials: External recognitions, testimonials from participants, and overall reputation within the industry.
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Accelerator of the Year

The Incubator of the Year award celebrates an incubator that has excelled in nurturing early-stage startups by providing comprehensive support, resources, and guidance to foster innovation and sustainable growth. This award is given to an incubator that effectively helps translate innovative ideas into viable business models, supporting startups through critical early phases and laying a solid foundation for future success.

  • Support and Services: Quality and range of support services such as business training, office space, legal aid, and technological resources that address the foundational needs of early-stage startups.
  • Program Success: Evidence of the effectiveness of the incubation programs, measured by the startups’ survival rates, growth, and progression to later stages such as accelerator programs or successful market entry.
  • Infrastructure: Adequacy and quality of physical and technological infrastructure provided to support the startups’ daily operations and growth.
  • Mentorship and Access to Networks: Extent and quality of mentorship and access to crucial networks including potential customers, partners, and financiers.
  • Innovation in Incubation Practices: Innovative approaches in incubation practices that significantly enhance startup success rates and operational efficiencies.
  • Ecosystem Engagement: Active engagement with the larger startup ecosystem and the incubator’s role in promoting entrepreneurial activities within the community.
  • Feedback and Recognition: Positive feedback from incubatees and other stakeholders, as well as recognitions and awards received from the industry.
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