Dakar, one of Africa’s leading startup ecosystems attracts investors
All roads lead to Dakar, Senegal for a series of events happening during the Enrich in Africa week which starts on the 22nd of May with a Learning Expedition held by incubator Bond’innov . Key highlights for the week include the AfricArena Dakar Summit, VC UnConference, and the highly-anticipated ASIP Accelerator Demo Day powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech and founded by telecoms giant Telecel Group .
In the days preceding the summit, Bond’innov has organized a one-week Learning Expedition to Dakar which will take place from the 22nd to the 26th of May. This special expedition will support 15 to 20 foreign entrepreneurs and SMEs to discover the Senegalese market, create lasting partnerships and launch their economic activities in the region. The Learning Expedition offers a unique opportunity to meet local facilitators and potential business partners. The program also provides participants with valuable market intelligence in key areas of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the local business environment and best practices to tackle the local market.
Senegal’s positioning as the window into Francophone Africa has been solidified through the country’s continued success in the technology startup and innovation space. Dakar has a rapidly growing startup ecosystem that is proving attractive to investors. According to the StartupBlink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022, 93% of Senegal’s startups are based in Dakar’s vibrant startup ecosystem which ranks 4th in Africa.
In 2019, the country became the second African country to pass a Startup Act and subsequently, President Macky Sall established The General Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ), which has partnered with AfricArena, Startupbootcamp AfriTech, and Enrich in Africa in various capacities.
Partnerships in West Africa crucial to building Africa’s tech ecosystem
Partnerships such as these have led to an increase in events that bring together some of the brightest minds and innovators in Africa’s tech and startup ecosystem, creating a platform for collaboration, learning, and growth.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this in Senegal, which is fast becoming a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa,” said Henry Ojuor, Program Director at Startupbootcamp Afritech. “Through these events, we hope to create a platform for collaboration and growth, as well as showcase the incredible talent and potential that exists within the African tech and startup ecosystem.”
The ASIP Demo Day, which takes place during the AfricArena Dakar Summit, will showcase the most promising startups from the ASIP Accelerator Program, providing a platform for them to pitch their innovative ideas and products to investors and potential partners. The ASIP Demo Day takes place on Africa Day which is 25th May. This will be a unique opportunity for investors to discover and connect with some of the most disruptive startups in the African tech industry. Startupbootcamp AfriTech will also be having a gathering of all of its alumni straight after Demo Day.
The AfricArena Dakar Summit is a premier tech conference that will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives from around the world to explore the latest trends and innovations in the African tech ecosystem. The event, which has an overarching focus on Fintech, Mobility & Logistics will be happening at the Museum of Black Civilizations and will feature keynote speakers, panels, and pitch sessions, as well as networking opportunities for attendees.
After the Summit, AfricArena, in partnership with Startupbootcamp AfriTech, will be running an Open Innovation & Corporate VC Unconference to take place from Friday 26th May to Sunday 28th May at the Rhino Resort Hotel and Spa in Saly, Senegal.
The goal of this VC Unconference will be to enable key players in the corporate community staked in or planning to tap into tech innovation in Africa to participate in an exchange of best practices and knowledge around how to successfully operate on the continent to develop new products and services in partnership with startups.
“Together with Startupbootcamp Afritech and ENRICH in Africa, we are proud to host the AfricArena Dakar Summit in such a historic city that is a hub of trade, investment, and innovation and which positively impacts Africa’s tech and startup ecosystem,” says AfricArena CEO and founder Christophe Viarnaud.
Corporate partnerships and bilateral agreements boost Africa’s rapidly growing tech ecosystem
The involvement of corporates in the series of events is an indication of how important it is to collaborate and learn from both facets of the ecosystem. Founding partner of the ASIP Accelerator, The Telecel Group, who recently completed the acquisition of the Vodafone Group’s Ghana Division will be leading the fray of key players in the ecosystem.
“We are incredibly proud of all innovative startups in our accelerator program, and we believe that their success is crucial to the long-term development and prosperity of the African continent,” noted Executive Deputy at Telecel and ASIP Project Director Eleanor Azar. “That’s why we are always by their side to provide them with the guidance, mentorship, and support they need. Such events are part of our identity at Telecel, and we remain committed to supporting these startups every step of the way.”
The ASIP Program is also supported by the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), DER/FJ, AWS, Google, and ENRICH in Africa. ENRICH in Africa has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 101004709.
The ENRICH in Africa Learning Expedition in Dakar will offer a tailored educational program for delegates seeking to deepen their knowledge of the African tech industry. The program will include site visits, workshops, and networking sessions, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the African tech ecosystem.
Registration for all events is now open, and interested participants can find more information and register for the event through the Bond’innov, AfricArena, and Startupbootcamp AfriTech websites.
Book your seat at the AfricArena Dakar Summit here.
Book your seat for the Open Innovation Unconference here.
For media inquiries or more information, please contact:
Startupbootcamp Afritech – email@example.com
AfricArena – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bond’innov – email@example.com
About Africa Startup Initiative
ASIP is a program founded by Moh Damush, Telecel Group CEO as a CSR activity. ASI Program contributes in a meaningful way to the African Continent to support young startups whose innovative ideas are creating a difference in their communities, exposing them to international organizations, and bridging the knowledge and expertise to allow them to attract partners that can add value to their startups. For more information on the ASIP, visit www.asiprogram.com
AfricArena was launched as a platform in 2017 to support the creation of market access and investment opportunities for its ever-increasing community of founders, angel investors, corporates, and VC investors. Designed with a digital approach in mind, AfricArena consists of a series of investment deal flow events and interventions and an open-source platform for all stakeholders, all based on principles of open innovation and entrepreneurship. The AfricArena brand has rapidly gained enormous credibility in the tech startup ecosystem with alumni startups raising over $500 million in the past six years. The AfricArena Summit events are broken into three segments as follows: Investor Unconference, Founder’s BootCamp, and the main Summit Event. For more information about AfricArena, visit www.africarena.com
About Startupbootcamp AfriTech
Startupbootcamp AfriTech was launched in 2017 as the first multi-corporate-backed pan-African startup accelerator. We run world-class accelerator programs, working with some of the most disruptive startups on the continent. We provide access to our global network of corporate partners, investors, and mentors. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/sbcafritech
About ENRICH in Africa
ENRICH in Africa is a three-year project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program designed to bring together core stakeholders from Africa and Europe in order to support and strengthen the European and African innovation ecosystem. Its main goals are to provide capacity upgrading and support to incubators and accelerators across both regions and facilitate the growth of ideas and successful outcomes by building a strong community with a foundation in the delivery of quality services. After the project ends, activities and services will be continued by the ENRICH in Africa Centre, which has recently been launched.
About Bond’innov :
For over a decade, Bond’innov has been supporting innovation with high economic and social impact in Europe and Africa, using proven tools and methodologies. Through its 3 offices in France (Bond’innov Europe), Senegal (Bond’innov Afrique), and Morocco (Bond’innov Méditerranée), and its network of country experts, Bond’innov deploys its expertise to strengthen various startups and innovation ecosystems. Bond’innov also plays a key role in startup funding through adapted financial leverages and investment-readiness training programs.