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Saint-Gobain, AfricArena Launch Innovation Challenge for E-commerce, Fintech Startups in Africa

Saint-Gobain - AfricArena -Founder360

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Saint-Gobain, AfricArena Launch Innovation Challenge for E-commerce, Fintech Startups in Africa

Saint-Gobain is joining forces with AfricArena – an African tech ecosystem accelerator and deal-flow platform – to launch an open innovation challenge, targeted at eCommerce and/or Fintech startups operating in Africa, specifically in Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.

This innovation project has come at a time where digital commerce has accelerated in the continent faster than ever before. More and more businesses have adopted a digital approach to commerce and transacting online, allowing easier and broader access to markets.

For over 350 years Saint-Gobain has been designing materials and solutions that have a tangible positive impact on people’s lives. Being present in 18 countries in Africa, the

The group works with local partners to imagine solutions that enhance an individual’s quality of life and address the social, societal and environmental challenges.

Research and Innovation are at the heart of Saint-Gobain’s strategy, and in line with this, the Group supports the development of Africa, by providing solutions tailored to local needs.

Through partnering with AfricArena on this Open Innovation Challenge, Saint-Gobain Africa aims to not only drive innovation which answers real-life business needs but in addition, to fuel complementary innovation in the FinTech space which has the potential to fast track progress in Africa. Ultimately, through this partnership, we aim to make Africa, and in turn the world, a better home,” says Jean-Claude Lasserre, CEO – Saint-Gobain South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa.

Read: Nigerian HealthTech Startup CribMD Acquires Charisland Pharmaceuticals

We are thrilled to partner with Saint-Gobain and its corporate venture fund Nova for another innovation challenge this year. Through this new collaboration, we are aiming to identify the best African startups who, through their innovative solutions, will have a real and tangible impact and help the Fintech industry evolve in Africa,” says Bintou Adekoya, COO at AfricArena.

The Challenge seeks a product-market-fit solution already in place that serves as a: Marketplace, payment platform, community layby or savings (stokvels, tontine or equivalent) that enables consumers, particularly in informal markets, to tokenize vouchers redeemable in Saint-Gobain products at various DIY retailers.

Startups operating in any of the above verticals must be based in Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. The startups must have proved product-market-fit as well as market validation. In terms of venture maturity, this Challenge accepts applications from startups between the Seed and Series A stages.

3 startups (each from the aforementioned markets) will be selected to pitch at the annual AfricArena 2021 Summit in Cape Town in late November – where they will showcase their solutions in front of Saint-Gobain executives as well as investors looking for world-class talent to partner with.

Before the Summit, the finalists will also participate in a full day of workshops (The Founders Bootcamp, in partnership with FSAT Labs) on pitching, engaging with investors and business development.

The winning startup (and potential finalists) will have the opportunity to work with Saint-Gobain businesses to deploy a POC solution. Furthermore, AfricArena will award each of the 3 finalist startups US$10,000 worth of Amazon Web Services credit.

Startups that are interested in taking part in the Challenge can submit their application here.

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CEO and Founder at Founder360° Magazine.

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