African drone business finalists announced

  • Ten African startups have been selected as finalists in the first African Drone Business Challenge.
  • The finalists represent 9 African countries – Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Each finalist will participate in a live pitch and award ceremony on Thursday, Feb 6 at the African Drone Forum (ADF) in Kigali, Rwanda.  
  • The 10 finalists will compete for a share of £40,000 in prize money.

Kigali, January 2020: The African Drone Forum (ADF) is proud to announce the finalists of the first African Drone Business Challenge (ADBC), a business plan competition for African entrepreneurs to uncover new commercial use cases for drone applications that demonstrate a high potential for local impact. 

The 10 finalists are: DRONE ERA (Benin), Africa Bees (DRC), Kenya Flying Labs (Kenya), MicroMek Limited (Malawi), Global Air Drone Academy (Nigeria/USA), Upshore Robotics (Nigeria), Integrated Aerial Systems (South Africa), Jembe Kilimo (Tanzania), JCKEG Solutions (Zambia), and Alley Capital Group (ACG) (Zimbabwe).

These finalists were selected from a competitive pool of almost 150  submissions from across 31 African countries. Applicants were asked to provide business concepts that focused on leveraging drone technology to generate new business opportunities. Proposals were evaluated by a panel of local and international judges and scored based on several factors including: potential for growth and sustainability, focus on using drones for social good, and the economic empowerment of African communities. In alignment with industry trends, a majority of the proposals were from early-stage startups in their first year of operation and concentrated in the mining, agriculture and healthcare sectors.

All 10 finalists will attend the ADF in Kigali in February and will participate in a two-day pitch boot camp facilitated by Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU Africa), along with exhibition space and networking opportunities. During the ADF Pitch and Award Ceremony, each startup team will present their business ideas to a panel of judges and audience of more than 800 people. Following the pitching, the grand prize and runner up awards will be announced with cash prizes totalling up to £40,000, sponsored by UKAID/DfID.

“The World Bank is proud to support these promising startups as they gain momentum and continue to push their business ideas forward. By participating in the African Drone Forum, entrepreneurs will get exposure to both local and global players within the drone industry,” said Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager in Rwanda, the host country for the African Drone Forum. “The Forum is creating a unique platform for entrepreneurs to accelerate their objective of starting high-tech, high-growth companies, which will ultimately contribute to building a thriving and resilient drone ecosystem across Africa and  improve service delivery to its citizens.”

The African Drone Forum will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on February 5-7, 2020.

Additional Information 

  • For more information on the ADBC and full finalists’ profiles click here
  • For more information on the African Drone Forum click here
  • For more information on CMU Africa click here
  • For more information on UKAID/DfID click here