By Miguel Heilbron on May 27, 2013
This week infoDev’s 2013 Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship in South Africa welcomes 50 top SME entrepreneurs from Africa and other continents, selected to participate in a Dragons Den Pitching Competition. Around half of the selected Global Top 50 entrepreneurs from Africa are part of the VC4Africa community. Check them out below, and watch some of them pitch this Tuesday and Wednesday!
ESKIMI – Nigeria – Vytautas Paukstys
Eskimi is a mobile social network created to help users meet new people. The company helps users find each other, chat, play games, and exchange photos or videos. In Nigeria, Eskimi is the second most visited site, after Facebook (and before internet giants Google, Yahoo and BBC). See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
MALIYO GAMES – Nigeria – Hugo Obi
Maliyo Games creates games with localized narratives, char- acters, environment and sounds to share the experience of everyday Africa with the world. These games are distributed via mobile and web browsers, sharing Africa’s amazing but seemingly insignificant stories with a global audience through gaming and transmedia platforms. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
PROWORK – Nigeria – Francis Onwumere
Prowork is a mobile first enterprise class project management and collaboration solution for business. Prowork allows its users to share documents, group chat, and track activities and performance as they happen in real time, helping to reduce costs and increase productivity. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
SKILLPOD MEDIA – South Africa – Mark Van Diggelen
SkillPod Media is an established online and mobile gaming company, with a growing global user and client base. SkillPod Media supplies their online games platform to some of the top publishers in the world. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
ENEZA EDUCATION (MPREP) – Kenya – Toni Maraviglia
MPrep helps kids learn, review, compete and collaborate through accessible and fun mobile applications. Over 8,000 users at over 400 Kenyan schools are using their tools, and impact studies show that MPrep helps students increase their exam scores in English, Math, Kiswahili, and Science more than the average student. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
FIRESTRING – South Africa – Alison Jacobson
Firestring is a technology company leveraging social architecture to radically enhance knowledge management. In addition to its Enterprise Social Network, the company’s software greatly enhances knowledge findability through its unique Web 3.0 Social-Semantic Knowledge Management Engine, Serendipity. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
MTRACKER/FOMOBI – Kenya – Jacob Mwema
Fomobi is an integrated ICT firm that provides consulting and development services to corporations, NGOs, and governments. Their new application – mTracker – enables motorists and other asset owners to manage the security of their assets in an easy and user-friendly manner: mTracker provides car and fleet owners with real-time location tracking, engine on/off notifications, alarm alerts, fuel analysis, and over-speed alerts. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
FARMERLINE – Ghana – Alloysius Attah
Farmerline supports farmers by providing improved information access, record keeping services and communication pathways for smallholder farmers and agricultural stakeholders. The company will enable farmers to run a profitable farming business, and other agricultural stakeholders to access efficient communication channels with farmers, resulting in more food production. Increases in crop quality and yield will raise farmer income, increase farmer autonomy, and address threats to food security. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
INNOKIQ (MPAWA) – Ghana – Maxwell Donkor
mPawa is a mobile recruitment platform that connects companies directly with blue collar workers in Africa using a mobile platform. mPawa is free for workers, who can create their personal profiles using mainly SMS, and then receive job notifications whenever prospective employers require the workers’ skill sets. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
KUZA MOBILE – South Africa – Pieter Nel
Kuza is a mobile, location-based business platform that helps buyers and sellers in emerging markets to trade goods and services in their area. A user can create a website, mobi site and business cards right from his phone in about 5 minutes. Kuza’s micro-ads, also created right from the phone, are broadcast to an audience in the entrepreneurs’ area, allowing then to reach a wider market. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
MOBIFLOCK – South Africa – Vanessa Clark
Mobiflock makes cell phones safe for children by giving parents the visibility and tools to manage their children’s phone use, and so protect them from harm. Mobiflock is a small app that sits on the child’s smartphone or tablet and provides parents – via web dashboard – with information on device use, including: contacts, calls and messages sent and received, applica- tions downloaded, websites accessed and so on. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
MOBILAB/M-VERIFIED – Kenya – Patrick Mutahi
The Mobilab application is a recently launched verification tool that can be used to ascertain the authenticity of documents, certificates, and title deeds. Mobilab works by sharing data with State agencies like the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Kenya National Examinations Council. Mobilab is free to download as an Android application and can also be accessed online. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
MPAYER (ZEGE TECHNOLOGIES) – Kenya – Stella Kimotho
Mpayer is a mobile and web application that enables businesses to manage their payment transactions using both Mobile Money (Mpesa, Airtel Money) and cash. Mpayer helps business owners to manage and view business activities including incomes and expenses, performance of various product/services and customer information. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
PEOPLE INPUT – Senegal – Sergine Barro
People Input is a web and mobile service provider in Africa, providing expertise on the delivery of web and mobile projects. People Input is now in the process of launching the first African App Store, aimed at bringing relevant local Apps to African smartphone owners. People Input has branch offices and teams that are based on the ground in Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso & Guinea Conakry. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
QABILA MEDIA PRODUCTIONS – Egypt – Perihan AbouZeid
Qabila is a media content creator that capitalizes on crowd- sourcing and digital media to provide clients with cost-effective content that reaches their target audience in an engaging and effective way. Qabila enriches Arabic content on the web through edutainment videos, songs, short movies or shows. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
VIRTUALBANK – Zimbabwe – Tawanda Kembo
The VirtualBank platform enables those without bank accounts to make online payments using mobile money. The company also makes it possible for Africans in the Diaspora to use credit cards to remit money to those without bank accounts. VirtualBank is the first company to offer both these services in Zimbabwe, and after proving the business model, plans to roll out the services to other African countries. See their VC4Africa venture profile >>
Here’s the full list of the Global Top 50 selected ventures:
Afroes, Agro Servicos LDA (Gutsamba), Amant Antennas, Angaza Design, Asly “Original, Beza Mar Honey, Centsless, Cobitec, Comprehensive Design Services, EcoPower Liberia, eeZydeel, Eskimi, Farmerline, FireString, Gonnasphere, Greengar, Greennovation Technologies, Hydrogen Industrial, Innokiq (mPawa), Khaya power PTy ltd, Kuza Mobile, ListenMi Caribbean Ltd (CDMA), Maliyo Games, MicroForester, MobiFlock, Mobilab Ltd., Mobile Payment Solutions Ltd., Mobile SKills to Cash (MS2C), MobiTrader, Mpayer (Zege Technologies Ltd), Mprep Kenya, mTracker (Fomobi), People Input, ProWork, Qabila Media Productions, Rico Technologies, Robopartans LTD, SEMA Kenya, SkillPod Media, SliceBiz, Smellnat, TeleSkin d.o.o, T-Files Indonesia, Tiket.com, Transcel, Tugo Builds (Pty) Ltd, TurboEoms S. A., UpEnergy, Virtual Bank, West Indies Recycling (WIR) Limited.
Congratulations to all winners!
The 2013 Global Forum is organized by the WorldBank’s Information for Development Program (InfoDev), South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology and the Eastern Cape Province.
This Tuesday and Wednesday a selection of the Top 50 entrepreneurs mentioned above will pitch in a Dragon’s Den setting to meet mentors, investors and angels. The pitches can be watched online through the Global Forum livestream, this Tuesday, May 28th and Wednesday, May 29th, at 4:30 PM GMT+2. Register here to watch the livestreams (Day 1 – Tuesday May 28, 4:30 PM: Dragon’s Den for high-potential entrepreneurs; and Day 2 – Wednesday May 29, Stream C, 4:30 PM: Accelerator Track for Entrepreneurs, Dragon’s Den (continued) ). Who will pitch will be announced soon. On Thursday, the top 5 will be announced at the Global Forum’s closing ceremony at 4:00 PM.
Most of the above mentioned VC4Africa members were amongst last year’s 40 DEMO Africa winners. Want to launch your product in front of a global audience? Apply for this year’s DEMO Africa now!