The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), in collaboration with RiseUp enterprise, announced the winners of the African App Launchpad Cup on Saturday, the last day of RiseUp Summit 2019, held at the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Agora, Bouita, Arcanium Studios, 247Medic, Find Me Football and Alkottab Game Studio received a total of $60,000 in cash prizes divided per each track -- gaming and application development tracks -- to help build and grow their businesses.
The selected startups were chosen from a group of 28 finalists who belong to more than nine countries from across Africa.
For the gaming track, Agora from Egypt won the first prize, worth $15,000, while Alkottab Game Studio walked away with $10,000 for the second prize and Arcanium Studios came third, winning $5,000.
For the application development track, Bouita from Algeria won the first prize of $15,000, while the second and the third prize were equally shared between Find Me Football from Egypt and 247Medic from Nigeria, winning $7,500 each.
ITIDA vice president, SECC chairman and TIEC Chairperson Hassan Othman said that all the competing ideas were innovative and across diverse industries such as health, sports, and tourism, adding that there were a lot of creative ideas from Nigeria, Algeria, and Egypt.
"We would like to thank Egypt for hosting the first of a kind competition in Africa and praise the government’s role in supporting entrepreneurship across Africa," the statement read.
“We were impressed when we saw how the entrepreneurship scene across Africa is generating innovative ideas like what we saw at the pitch competition today. Collaborating with ITIDA on the African App Launchpad Cup is another step that we believe will widen the opportunities we are offering to the startups through the RiseUp summit, ”Abdel-Hamid Sharara, co-founder and CEO of RiseUp, said.
The winners got a chance to join an accelerator programme and were granted exhibition spaces during the RiseUp Summit, in addition to certified training grants for all teams through the African App launch pad.
Sherif Badawy, project manager and product owner at Arcanium Studios, the third winner at the game track, said he was pleased that the Egyptian community and the government are now focusing on game development in Egypt.
“This will give us a wide platform and opportunity to succeed,” Badawy added.
Meanwhile, Amr Kamel, managing director of 5D, and one of the competition’s judges, said it has been a very interesting competition, as it witnessed some strong applications and propositions, both from Africa and Egypt.
"It makes us very proud to see the young generation and what they are capable of. I think it was quite hard to choose the winners but it was successful in terms of people’s choices," he said.
ITIDA collaborated with RiseUp to launch the pitch competition in Africa a few months ago. The competition invited startups working in either gaming or application development from nine different African countries to participate in the contest that offers grants totalling $60,000.
The competition is part of the Africa App Launchpad, a presidential initiative that targets building the capacity of 10,000 learners and establishing 100 startups while positioning Egypt as a hub for startups in Africa by gathering some of the continent’s best startups in one place.
This year, over 190 startups applied to present at the pitch and 30 were selected from countries including Egypt, Nigeria, and Ghana.