South African Startup Champion Gears Up For 2018 Startup World Cup Finals

Updated on 10 October 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (10 October)


South African tech startup EmptyTrips is heading to San Francisco, California for the 2018 Startup World Cup and the chance to win $1 million to grow their business. This comes after winning the Chivas Venture Pitching Den at the 2017 SA Innovation Summit.

EmptyTrips founded by Benji Coetzee, uses smart algorithms to match spare capacity on transport vehicles with those who need goods transported at a lower cost. Logistics and cargo transport costs can add significantly to an organisation’s expenses, while transporters are faced by the inefficiencies of empty transport vehicles on return trips.

EmptyTrips has the solution: their smart technology identifies spare capacity on trucks, trains, ships or aeroplanes and then allows potential customers to bid anonymously and pay securely for that space. Recognising the innovation behind EmptyTrips, the judges of the Chivas Venture Pitching Den Competition awarded them the winner’s title and an entry into the Startup World Cup finals.

“We are humbled by the recognition and this incredible opportunity,” says an ecstatic Coetzee. “At the same time, we are so proud of the progress we have made in the few months this company has been running. We look forward to carrying the South African flag high at the Startup World Cup!”

Facebook Gets Behind African Entrepreneurs In A ‘Celebration Of Tech’ Week

Facebook yesterday announced a week-long celebration of activities as part of its sponsorship of TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2017.

In the first event of its kind on the continent, TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2017, will search for the best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs in Sub Saharan Africa. The event will see entrepreneurs and developers compete across three categories: social good; productivity and utility; and gaming and entertainment. It will tell the founders’ stories, uncovering the next wave of disruptive innovations and putting African invention under the global spotlight.

Ned Desmond, COO, TechCrunch adds, “We’re really pleased to be able to bring the first Startup Battlefield to Africa. This is an exciting event, with opportunities to discover the creativity, talent and imagination of startups from across the continent. TechCrunch has held events across the world, and being able to hold Battlefield Africa is a natural progression. We can’t wait to see the results.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Partnerships said: “Our partnership with TechCrunch on Africa’s first ever Startup Battlefield event is a natural fit. We’re big believers in supporting and developing young, creative, diverse talent, and we also have a passion for supporting small businesses and startups as they grow, and nowhere is this more exciting than in the rich, diverse continent that is Africa.”

The Facebook team will be in Nairobi, Kenya from 9-12 October to take part in and host a number of events aimed at connecting, listening and learning from the startup and wider tech community.

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Africa 2017 is a day-long event aimed at celebrating and uncovering the best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs in sub Saharan Africa.

Taking to the stage will be: Facebook Platform Meetup, bringing together entrepreneurs, developers, and senior leaders at early-mid-stage startups in Kenya to learn how Facebook’s Platform products can help to accelerate their businesses, Facebook Developer Circles Africa Masterclass, a three-day training course bringing together Developer Circle leaders from across sub Saharan Africa, Women in Tech event – designed to engage with influential women working in Nairobi’s technology ecosystem and to share Facebook’s mission on diversity.

Pikiwash Named Rwanda’s Best Startup At Seedstars Kigali

On October 6th during Seedstars Kigali, PikiWash won the Rwandan round of Seedstars World and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to USD 1 million in equity investment and other prizes.

The local winner, PikiWash, an eco-friendly, time-saving solution for motorcycles was selected the best startup in Rwanda. As a part of the prize, PikiWash will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a week-long training program with the opportunity to meet the other 75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.

Umbrella, a digital platform that will provide access to crucial information about SRH to young women came second and HelloJob a web app that links technical job seekers and job givers grabbed the last spot in the top 3.

The other startups invited to pitch were BAG Innovation Limited, Imagine We, AgriGo Ltd, ONGERA LTD., Academia, VitcardFiatope Digital Solutions, Made In Rwanda Online Ltd.

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