The Awareness Company representing SA among 11 African startups pitching at Africa Startup Summit

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The second Africa Startup Summit is scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda early next month, and the 11 startups invited to pitch at the event have been named. The startups come from across the continent, but naturally we were interested to find out about the local representatives, which in this case is only one firm – The Awareness Company.

Organised chiefly by Disrupt Africa, the event aims to foster collaboration, and create connections between investors, corporates, stakeholders and startups across the region.

As for the startups involved in the pitching portion of the two-day long event, organisers explain that these 11 were chosen from more than 100 firms, with the finalists coming from six different countries and specialising in areas like edtech, fintech, proptech, agritech, recruitment and waste management.

Focusing in on The Awareness Company, it uses data-driven storytelling to help organisations make sense of multiple sources of information from people, sensors and systems with the objective of getting a clearer picture to make quick and effective decisions.

When we last heard from The Awareness Company it was working with Microsoft South Africa on its 4Afrika initiative.

The remaining 10 startups are:

BAG Innovation (Rwanda) – a digital platform that combines AI and gamification to simulate virtual internships and bridge the gap between the academic and business sectors.

OkwuEco (Nigeria) – a marketplace that helps users to buy, sell, trade or recycle their solid waste from anywhere, without payment, language or location barriers.

M-Lugha App (Kenya) – translates the Kenyan school syllabus into indigenous languages for rural, nomadic and pastoral communities, improving quality of education.

HouseAfrica (Nigeria) – uses blockchain technology to digitise land ownership verification for banks and mortgage companies, increasing access to loans for home buyers.

MarketForce (Kenya) – connects Africa’s informal retail shops directly to suppliers of consumer goods and financial services.

Limestart (Nigeria) – boosts financial inclusion for unbanked small businesses in Africa’s informal sector by helping them digitise transaction records and collect flexible digital payments.

M-omulimisa (Uganda) – a virtual online consultation platform for smallholder farmers, also offering agro insurance services.

Talents Arena (Egypt) – an online recruitment platform that helps growing companies find the ideal tech talent matching their needs.

ThankUCash (Nigeria) – provides infrastructure for rewards and loyalty for banks and businesses across Africa.

Riby (Nigeria) – helps communities, cooperatives and trade groups digitise their operations and get access to financial services through its digital platforms and offline channels.

Unlike other events where startup pitching is involved, there is no mention of a cash prize or any sort of value-added mentoring or development. Instead the reward here appears to be interacting with other companies and businesses across the continent.

“The 11 startups chosen to take part in this year’s Pitch Live have been offered one very simple opportunity – to get up on stage in front of an expert jury panel and hundreds of potential investors, corporate partners, and customers. We are confident there will be deals to be done for them in Kigali,” explains Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa.

With the Summit happening on 5th and 6th February, we wish all startups the best of luck with their pitches, but The Awareness Company in particular.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.