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MIT Selects 10 African Startups for US$100K Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion

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MIT Selects 10 African Startups for US$100K Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has selected 10 African startups as finalists of the 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion. 

Founded in 2015 to discover Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that promote and advance financial inclusion on the continent, MIT in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation will award a total of US$200,000 in prizes, at Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi on August 29, 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome the 2018 finalists into the MIT Zambezi family,” said Georgina Campbell Flatter, the Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center. “They represent some of the world’s most innovative change agents.”

During the award ceremony at Strathmore University, Nairobi, the winner will be awarded a grand prize of US$100,000 while the two runners-up will each receive US$30,000. The seven remaining finalists will each receive US$5,000 in cash prizes.

Kenya had the highest number of shortlisted finalist with 4 out of 10. These include Apollo Agriculture that uses technology to provide finance and customized advice to smallholder farmers, Bidhaa Sasa, the last mile delivery solution for household goods, FarmDrive, a credit scoring platform for farmers and Tulaa.

Read: Agritech Startup, Tulaa Announces US$627,000 Seed Round Led By AHL Venture Partners

South Africa had two finalists that included Wala, a blockchain based mobile money platform and LanteOTC, an investor platform for African companies.

The rest of the startups were Farmerline and OZE, both from Ghana and MaTontine from Senegal and RecyclePoints from Nigeria.

“The finalists demonstrated strong leadership and innovation in the way they are solving financial inclusion challenges,” said Ali Diallo, the Global Programs Manager of the MIT Legatum Center.

The winners will also have an opportunity to attend the Zambezi boot camp during the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge gala on the MIT campus in Boston on November 5th-9th, 2018. 

The Zambezi Prize and the Open Mic Africa tour are pillars of the Legatum Center’s Africa Strategy – a global vision to leverage MIT’s ecosystem to improve lives through principled entrepreneurial leadership.

Past winners include Umati capital, KifiyaPlusPeopleMFS AfricaTugendeChamasoftNomaniniFirst Access, AgriLife, M-Changa, and mJara

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