Vivatech opens in Paris, uniting African startups with the diaspora

Vivatech opens in Paris, uniting African startups with the diaspora - Startup Lagos

The sixth edition of Vivatech, a major international event for innovation and digital technology, has just opened in Paris.

The event is hosted in partnership with the IFC, with the aim of showcasing more than 400 startups from all across the globe, in their groundbreaking achievements. The event intends to launch the Africa Tech Awards this year that will reward three of the most innovative African startups across three key sectors – Climate Tech, Health Tech, and FinTech. Of a broad list of startups that applied in March this year for the awards, nine (9) startups were selected, with three in each category.

This year’s edition of Vivatech focuses on African startups, offering them the opportunity to showcase their products to a global audience. Source: Africanews, 2022.

The top 9 startups (3 in each category) will benefit by:

  • Taking part in VivaTech
  • Meeting key players to scale their businesses
  • Benefitting from a strong visibility
  • Getting highlighted in the VivaTech program
  • Getting featured on social media and different media outlets

The category winners will receive:

Climate Tech Winner will get introduced to the IFC Climate Tech Specialist and key industry players, as well as gain access to New Energy Nexus’ global clean energy ecosystem network and its local networks in Uganda and Nigeria. The Health Tech Winner will benefit from an introduction to the IFC Health Tech specialist and key industry players. Finally, the FinTech Winner will benefit from an introduction to IFC FinTech investment team and IFC partner VC funds.

Each of these startups within the categories was accessed on the following metrics:

Impact: Product/solution with proven results in addressing pressing issues affecting society and/or the environment

Innovation: Originality and innovation level of the tech solution compared to existing alternatives (problem-solving approach, characteristics of the technology used, patented processes or components, etc.)

Scalability: Market size and scalability potential of the startup (total addressable market, potential to expand to other markets, etc.)

Team profile: Level of experience and size of the team (number of employees, level and diversity of expertise, entrepreneurship and/or academic background, etc.)

Business model: Demonstrated traction and product-market fit (maturity of the startup, commercial traction, number of clients, annual global turnover growth, etc.)

As the world becomes more conscious of the dangers of global warming, there is a renewed focus on Africa leading the charge, as the continent with the most potential for growth and emergence. Herein lies a remarkable opportunity for growth on the continent, and as Karen Bosman, Strategic Advisor to Wesgro, the official tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape region of South Africa, highlights,

It has been the main driver of foreign direct investment over the past ten years. Green tech has attracted the most foreign investment and it’s only just begun.
We are heading towards a world of green hydrogen and I think if Africa is able to harness it, it has everything to gain and it is an incredible opportunity.

In order to finance this energy transition for the continent, investment in startups in Africa needs to grow even more.

Maurice Lévy, Director of Publicis Groupe and Co-founder of Vivatech, expresses this need for Africans to take the bull by the horns, and invent a better future.

We need billionaires and the powerful in Africa to start investing in African startups. It’s up to them to do the job. And I call on them to do so! It’s in Africa’s interest, it’s in startups’ interest and it’s in their own interest.

In the age of the “cloud” and “almost everything” digital, the location of the infrastructure that stores and processes millions of gigabytes of data are a strategic issue. 

Some countries are raising the issue of digital sovereignty. Countries like the DRC, which has just launched a call for tenders for the construction of their own data center. As Eberand Kolongele, DRC’s Digital Minister emphasizes,

Creating data is one thing, but being in control of this data is another. And to be in control of this data today, you need to have infrastructures that can ensure the storage but also the sharing of this data. I think that our African countries, in particular the DRC, have taken the measure to ensure this digital sovereignty by setting up its own infrastructures which are housed on its soil, on its territory and which are controlled by its own engineers.

Investments in African startups have grown rapidly since last year, with startups recording phenomenal raises even within this year. The continent is growing more and more attractive for investment in spite of the global slowdown in investment in startups.

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