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Start-Up of the Year Award

This award acknowledges the entrepreneurial spirit, technological innovation, and potential impact of start-ups in driving growth, solving local challenges, and contributing to the advancement of Africa's tech ecosystem.

About the Start-Up of the Year Award


The Start-Up of the Year Award celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit, technological innovation, and transformative potential of emerging companies that are poised to make significant contributions to Africa's tech ecosystem. This prestigious accolade recognizes start-ups that have demonstrated exceptional ingenuity in addressing local challenges, driving economic growth, and fostering social development through cutting-edge solutions.

By honouring the most promising start-ups, this award aims to spotlight the trailblazing entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to create scalable and sustainable businesses. Through this recognition, we aim to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their visions with passion and perseverance, contributing to the continued growth and diversification of the continent's economy.

Award Criteria


Innovation & Originality

The start-up must showcase a unique and innovative approach to solving a significant problem or addressing a market need.

Impact & Scalability

The solution should demonstrate potential for wide-reaching impact and the ability to scale effectively across different markets or regions.

Market Traction & Growth

The start-up should provide evidence of market traction, including user adoption, revenue generation, and business growth.

2024 Awards Timeline


Here is the timeline for the 2024 Africa Tech Festival Awards!

Key information:

  • The shortlist will consist of the top 5 candidates per category and will be subject to a public vote.
  • The top three shortlisted candidates with the most votes from the public will progress to the finals.
  • The finalists will be sent to our expert panel of judges, who will determine the winners.
  • The winners will be announced live at the ceremony in Cape Town on 13 November.

2023 Award Winner


Winner: Botlhale AI Solutions

"We believe language should not be a barrier for accessing digital services"

Botlhale AI are driven by the belief that language should never hinder access to digital services. While speech-based human-computer interaction systems and Natural Language Processing tools have gained global popularity, they predominantly cater to English and other major languages. Botlhale AI's goal is to eliminate this disparity by extending these technologies to African languages. They aim to empower speakers of African languages to enjoy the conveniences and innovations these systems bring to their daily lives.