Startups Zim! Check Out This $25,000 USD Innovation Contest

The annual Digital Innovation Competition for African Startups is facilitated each year by the US Chamber of Commerce’s African American Business Center (USAfBC) in partnership with AmChams across Africa. Every year, the competition is awarded to talented people Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Startups Behind digital products and services that are making a positive impact on African citizens.

The winner in 2022 will do receive recognition In their home – and $25,000 cash prizewithin Other non-cash prizes!

Target industries

The competition will focus on three broad thematic areas:

  1. Fintech and cyber solutions: Covering data flow solutions, cross-border digital platform solutions, mobile technology, IP management, cybersecurity, and the digital movement of the creative arts (movies, music, and arts).
  2. Sustainability and Supply Chain SolutionsCovers smart manufacturing, e-commerce, managing shared economies, digital supply chain optimization, and logistics solutions for e-commerce and agricultural technology (AgTech) companies.
  3. Human development and social services solutions: Covering digital health solutions and e-learning platforms.


In-kind services may include laptops, annual subscriptions to digital platforms, mentoring services, and digital marketing/advertising for the top three competition winners. The top three winners will also be presented with a virtual platform to connect with mentors and participants during the Digital Economy Summit on December 7, 2022.

First prize

Total Grand Prize Package Value $25,000. This includes $15,000 in prize money, a 6 months instructing With Fortune 500 Tech and a 1 year subscription to digital tools/platforms.

second prize

Second prize package of $15,000. Second prize includes $10,000 In prize money, a 6 months instructing With a technology company and 6 months Subscribe to digital tools / platforms.

Third prize

The third prize package is $10,000. The third prize includes 5000 dollars In prize money, a 3-month mentorship With Tech and 3 months Subscribe to digital tools/platforms.

5 regional champions

Five regional champions will be named and collected 5000 dollars In prize money, a recognition plateenjoy 3-month mentorship with the company in their thematic field.

eligibility – eligibility

As part of its strategic vision, USAfBC seeks innovative proposals through digital solutions that articulate impact stories and clearly define challenges and actions to implement solutions in the digital space. The Digital Innovation Competition is open to entrepreneurs, startups and independent innovators who have turned ideas into digital innovation to improve the living conditions of Africans amid the pandemic.

To be eligible, an applicant (or a startup company) must:

  • Be a startup or innovator with at least 51% African ownership
  • Must be registered/registered with the appropriate body in the country, for example, the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
  • Not be a government agency, public administration, political or non-profit organization of any kind African Digital Entrepreneurship Competition 2022
  • The head office of the startup must be in an African country.
  • The startup must be no more than five (5) years old and not be part of a brand or licensing agreements for distribution in a different country
  • Not be a business engaged in any illegal activity that is not on the US Treasury Sanctions List

assessment/selection process

The evaluation process will take place in three stages:

level 1 [all applicants]After being submitted online, applications will go through a first review round. This review will be conducted by the appointed experts. This review begins with an eligibility and exclusion check. Applicants who do not comply with these criteria will not be evaluated. Experts will evaluate eligible applications based on evaluation criteria and a shortlist of the top 10 ranked applications, including regional champions for each of Africa’s sub-regions (North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa). The ten shortlisted applicants will be notified of their qualifications and invited to submit an executive summary (3-5 pages maximum) of their innovation and participate in Phase 2.

Stage 2 [10 shortlisted finalists]The 10 shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their idea before a panel of experts, including selected representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce in Africa and industry leaders with expertise and knowledge in the areas of digital transformation, digital services, and business strategies. The committee will conduct the evaluations, and select the 3 best contestants in stage 3.

Stage 3 [ top 3 finalists]The top three winners of the US-Africa Digital Economy Summit 2022 will be announced in December 2022, with the first, second and third place winners also to be announced after a live vote by Summit participants. A 2-minute video of their product/innovation will also be shown. The results will be approved by an external certification body.

Applications for the Digital Innovation Competition close on June 30, 2022 and you can apply for the application with the link over here

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