Southern African tech startups make their mark in Helsinki

Think Africa, the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2), Futurice, and UNTIL have hosted this year’s third Slush side-event, called BoostUp.

The BoostUp event, which took place on 19 November 2019, focused mainly on concrete investments in early-stage startups in African countries.

As an innovation support organisation, SAIS provides grant financing, capacity development, and networking support with a focus on developing international cooperation and innovation in startup companies.

SAIS Connected Hubs representatives who were in attendance at the BoostUp included mobile technology accelerator MLab Southern Africa and The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

This event gave Southern African start-ups from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and models to potential investors, while investors learned about the challenges that those in African countries face in order for them to help articulate these business ideas.

Participating start-ups at the SAIS BoostUp event included Mohiri and Cyber Kajumo Rigs from Botswana, IoT Radar and The Lab from Namibia, JointPesa from Tanzania, Greenbelt Energy from Zambia, and Abiri and Guardian Gabriel from South Africa.

The winners

The overall winner of the BoostUp pitching competition as selected by a panel of judges was Abiri Innovations from South Africa, which will receive free transportation to Slush 2020, mentoring, and 2 years’ worth of AWS hosting.

Abiri is a customised regional and provincial digital map application, enhanced by an advanced intelligence system, which offers useful road and trip information such as toll gate prices, fuel consumption per vehicle for each journey, and road condition information.

The solution promotes domestic tourism in SADC countries, particularly in townships and rural areas, increasing employment in the tourism sector.

The panel has also awarded 6 stand-out startups – Mohiri, Kalahari Honey, IoT Radar, Guardian Gabriel, Abiri, and The Lab – with mentoring.

Each of the 14 participating startups also received 2 years’ worth of AWS hosting, while Guardian Gabriel received a tablet prize from The Embassy of South Africa in Finland.

Photos of the BoostUp Slush side event

Startups and Investors arriving at BoostUp

Startups participating in the BoostUp pitching competition

Abiri – Startup from South Africa

Agrobot – Startup from Tanzania

Agua Contada – Startup from South Africa

IoT Radar – Startup from Namibia

Guardian Gabriel – Startup from South Africa

Eastern manual drilling (EMD)  – Startup from Zambia

My Pregnancy Journey – Startup from South Africa

Cyber Kajumo Rigs – Startup from Botswana

TheLab – Startup from Namibia        

Fireside chat with Startup Bootcamp Africa Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer Zachariah George, and FCA Investments CEO Jukka-Pekka Kärkkäinen.

Winners announced

Overall winner – Startup Abiri 

Guardian Gabriel – Winner of an Uhuru tablet

Refreshments at the BoostUp event

Carien Pretorius is a guest of Slush in Helsinki, Finland which was made possible by the Finnish Embassy in Pretoria.

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Southern African tech startups make their mark in Helsinki