Africa New Venture Competition for African Startups ($55,000 in Cash Prizes)

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The 25th Harvard Business School Africa Business Conference hosts the New Venture Competition, once again, to showcase the diversity of entrepreneurs making a difference on the continent.


Benefits of Africa New Venture Competition for African Startups

From the pool of applications, 10 finalists will be invited to pitch their business in front of over 1,000 attendees and receive feedback from a panel of experienced judges. The competition winner and runner-up, and third place will be awarded cash prizes of $30,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively.

Team Eligibility

  • All African and Africa-focused entrepreneurs with businesses focused on shaping Africa’s future.
  • Early stage startups (for profit or not-for-profit).
  • Africa-focused with a majority or all of its operations in Africa.
  • Less than 50 employees.
  • Less than 5 years in operation.
  • Raised less $1,000,000 in funding to date.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The Team (relevance to problem/breadth/depth of skills; ability to execute)
  • The Problem (what is it, how painful is it, who is facing it?)
  • The Solution (product or service? technology or more analog? has it been done before?)
  • The Context & Opportunity (timing, market size/need, ability to penetrate, strong value proposition and business model, regulatory/tax/political and industry context)
  • Go-to-Market Strategy – (who is your target customer, how will you acquire and scale?)
  • Competitive Landscape – (competitors, Barriers to Entry, Differentiation
  • Risks & Unknowns – (how will you mitigate risks and test assumptions?)
  • Financials (How will you generate revenue in the short to longer term? what is your model?)
  • Traction & Execution (What have you done so far and still need to do in terms of testing, validation, and growth hypothesis as well as defined milestones)

Application Timeline

  • Application Opens: November 28, 2022
  • Application Closes: January 2nd, 2023
  • Finalists Announced: January 24, 2023
  • Mentors Matched: January 31, 2023
  • Round-Robin Session: Early March
  • ABC New Venture Competition: Friday March 24th

Click here to apply

Africa New Venture Competition for African Startups ($55,000 in Cash Prizes)

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