Six finalists were chosen from a wide field of applicants to compete in Wednesday’s Brilliant African Innovations Against COVID-19, a “Shark Tank” style contest organized by Africa.com in which entrepreneurs competed for prizes.
More than 2,000 audience members voted for their innovator of choice, although audience vote counted for only 25 percent of the total points awarded, while the judges’ votes counted for 75 percent. Follow this link to see the winners at the emotional moment they learned that they won the competition.
Judges for the competition included Juliet Ehimuan, Google Director for West Africa; Andile Ngcaba, Founding Partner and Chairman of Convergence Partners; Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner of Chanzo Capital; and Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital Innovation, Standard Bank.
The first prize was awarded to Laud Basing of Ghana, founder of Incas Diagnostics, for his rapid Covid-19 test combined with a comprehensive app that incorporates symptom assessment, data capture of test results, tracking of patient location using GPS signals, and dissemination of all of this information to public health authorities.
Basing receives a $500 prize; mentoring by Harvard Business School Professor of Entrepreneurship, Tarun Khanna; and a $5,000 media package from Africa.com. To see Basing’s two-minute video submission for the competition, click here.
Compelled by the strength of the finalists, the judges decided to award additional prizes to the two finalists who were tied for second place. One of the two-second prize winners was Mary Mwangi of Kenya, founder of Data Integrated, for her Epesi Trip Planner.
The app allows tuk-tuk (public bus) passengers to book a ride and pay online ahead of time, thus avoiding densely populated lines to board buses, and the payment of fares electronically, thus avoiding human contact associated with the use of cash. To see Mwangi’s two-minute video submission for the competition, click here.
The second finalist tied for the second prize was Dr. Wale Adeosun of Nigeria, founder of Wellvis, which uses machine learning to help patients assess their risk for COVID-19, and depending on the outcome, educates patients about the virus, and recommends next steps using a telemedicine platform. The COVID-19 Triage Tool assists the larger medical community, and society, by reducing unnecessary calls and visits to clinics and hospitals. To see Adeosun’s two-minute video submission for the competition, click here.
Mwangi and Adeosun each won $250 and a $2,500 media package from Africa.com. Mwangi won a mentoring session with Vermooten, the Standard Bank executive while Adeosun won a mentoring session with Google director Ehimuan. The full video of the competition will soon be available on virtualconferenceafrica.com.
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a global audience interested in African content and community. Its interests include a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com, email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with the “.africa.com” extension. The company operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York, and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.