RiseUp, a startup accelerator, announced Wednesday that Egyptian startups can now enter applications for the second edition of the Jack Ma Foundation “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) prize competition, with a prize pool of $1.5 million, open to entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, closing 22 June.
Businesses with a track record of 3-year revenue-generation can be one of 10 finalists sharing a prize pool of $1.5 million, up from $1 million in 2019, the competition’s local partner RiseUp said in a statement.
Other perks include being able to pitch directly to Alibaba mogul Jack Ma himself, the opportunity to gain exposure through the competition's "Africa's Business Heroes” show, to receive training at Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou, and to receive mentorship by renowned business leaders, according to the statement.
In 2019, Nawah-Scientific's Omar Sakr and Mumm's Waleed Abdelrahman won $150,000 and $65,000 in cash, respectively.
Moreover, they were able to further expand their network by joining the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), a network of mentors and African startups that have at least three years of revenue-generation under their belt, according to the statement.
Under competition rules, applicants will go through several competition stages, and 10 finalists will be selected to compete in a final pitch competition show that will be broadcast online and across the continent.
Semi-finalists will be announced in August, and the top 10 finalists will be unveiled in September.
ANPI is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic programme in Africa. The initiative aims to give entrepreneurs across Africa a platform to develop their talent and business ideas and to inspire others to pursue entrepreneurship.
The competition was announced by Jason Pau, senior advisor for international affairs at the Jack Ma Foundation, at the 2018 RiseUp Summit.
Since the programme’s inception, RiseUp has played an integral role in outreach to North African entrepreneurs and in providing support to the initiative through a series of webinars and mentorship opportunities to targeted startups.
This year marks the second year in a row that RiseUp will be partnering with ANPI.