TechCrunch Battlefield Africa 2017 shines a light on sub Saharan Africa’s top innovators and makers

Lori Systems was crowned as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup at TechCrunch Battlefield Africa 2017, held in Nairobi, Kenya on 11 October. AgroCenta was chosen as the winner of the social good category, Lori Systems won the productivity and utility category, whilst SynCommerce won the top prize in gaming and entertainment.

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2017, sponsored by Facebook, searched for Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs. The event – the first ever TechCrunch startup competition in Africa – was streamed live on TechCrunch and Facebook.

TechCrunch is a leading technology destination, dedicated to profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news. Its live events, including Battlefield, debut revolutionary startups, introduce game-changing technologies and discuss what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators.

Fifteen African companies were shortlisted from 700 entries and competed to be chosen as Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup. The founders of Lori Systems won US$25,000 in cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to compete in the Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt San Francisco 2018.

Startup Battlefield has been bringing world-class founders into the spotlight since 2007, and 700 contestants have gone on to raise $7 billion in funding and rack up nearly 100 exits. Battlefield Alumni include Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, TripIt, Getaround and Cloudflare. The judges included TechCrunch editors as well as top VCs and entrepreneurs:

  • Andreata Muforo, Tide Africa Fund
  • Leo Stiegeler, Ringier Africa
  • Helen Jennings, Naatal
  • Eghosa Omoigui, EchoVC
  • Wale Ayeni, IFC
  • Bosun Tijani, CEO at CcHub
  • Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom
  • Sacha Poignonnec, CEO of Jumia

Ned Desmond, COO at TechCrunch said, “We decided to bring the Battlefield to Sub-Saharan Africa because its tech market is on the rise—the region has produced its first unicorn in the shape of Jumia, exits are increasingly frequent, and global venture capitalists are taking note. Our judges were impressed by the high quality of the finalists, their creativity and their focus on solving real problems, often with limited resources.

“We love to see startup ecosystems develop, and hope that Battlefield Africa will shine a light on the many promising, world-class young tech companies in the region.  We look forward to meet Lori Systems again in San Francisco, where it will join the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans in the world for the global Startup Battlefield.”

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