African entrepreneurs pitch innovative ideas at the Next Einstein Forum

Updated on 14 March 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (14 March)

The first global forum for science on African soil, Next Einstein Forum (NEF), recently took place in Dakar, Senegal. African entrepreneurs pitched ideas before an audience of industry figures.

Ideas included drones to fight diseases by Moses Bangura of Sierra Leone. Bangura developed a civilian drone system to deliver medical supplies and transport clinical samples as part of his PhD in aerial robotics.

Cameroon’s Arreytambe Tabot is a software engineer who has already received seed money from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology for his team’s smart wristband, which works with mobile technology to provide real-time care for expectant mothers.

Moussa Thiam is still studying for his PhD at Canada’s University of Ottawa, but is already forming links with government agencies back home to sell his special brand of building material created from plastic waste. (eNCA)

Mastercard is accepting applications for its six month startup program

Applications for the Mastercard Start Path Program are open. Through the program, Mastercard aims to partner with startups from around the world to help scale their businesses. The program enables companies to gain access to MasterCard’s global ecosystem and to break new markets through relationships with MasterCard and their customers.

Some key features include a six month virtual program and two immersion weeks at different cities.

The hybrid model is designed to help solve key operational challenges for companies. Through the program Mastercard will also provide immediate access to experts and resources from across the organization and the opportunity to dive deep with their internal and external network.

They are looking for startups that can demonstrable an unfair competitive advantage, are commercially live today or launching soon, are targeting a sizeable market opportunity in the commerce space and have recently secured seed or series A investment. The startups should also be composed of a team of 5 or more with key roles established and strong domain or technical expertise. Applicants have until March 21 to apply for the next class.

Investors announce plans to invest $60 million in Africa at the Africa Business Angel Forum

A combined $60 million has been earmarked to help scale up African startups, this was announced at the recently held Africa Business Angel Forum.

Reewire, a fund founded by Neils Ellegards, a partner at US-based United+, announced a $50 million fund focusing on African ventures, according to a Techloy report. Aurorae, a fund partly backed by French insurance giant AXA, said it will invest $10 million on the continent.

The Africa Business Angel Forum is a gathering of the angel capital community that is exclusively focused on exploring investment opportunities available in Africa.

The forum brings together investors and entrepreneurs looking for funding and widening their circles.The forum is organised by NewGenAngels, a private angel investment club focused on Africa that was created to foster collaboration among angel groups, as well as the larger investment community. (AFKInsider)

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