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Funding African Start-ups and African Innovation

Talking of raising funds, look at Pitch Live at Africa Tech Summit London on 11 JunePitch Live ( helps find funding, or the right partner. The organisors promise to deliver top investors, corporates, innovators, media and advisors at the show. Startups must be African, have at least one African co-founder or be headquartered in Africa, be less than 5 years old, have at least a MVP ideally with existing traction, have raised less than $1 million in external funding, and have a current “ask”. Deadline 30 April. Don’t delay!!

Also of interest, the Kenyan telecom Liquid Telecom is hosting MIT’s 2019 Inclusive Innovation Challenge in Africa for the first time. The challenge will take place under 4 categories:  technology access, financial inclusion, skills development and opportunity matching, and income growth and job creation. A total of US$1.6 million will be awarded this year and the challenge will culminate with a Global Grand Prize Gala at MIT in November. Registration is now open and closes 9 May (

Meanwhile, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, has officially launched the USD$10 million Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative in order to identify and shine a spotlight on 100 African entrepreneur heroes who will inspire the continent. They will be given financial rewards and internships in Alibaba.

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Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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