The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has been announced as Gold Sponsor of next month’s Africa Startup Summit, set to facilitate a host of pitching and acceleration opportunities at the flagship event in Kigali, Rwanda.
The inaugural Africa Startup Summit takes place at the Kigali Convention Centre on February 14-15, via a partnership between tech startup ecosystem news and research platform, Disrupt Africa, and the continent’s leading tech conference, Africa Tech Summit Kigali.
Showcasing Africa’s vibrant startup ecosystem and bringing together stakeholders from across the continent to explore the opportunities and challenges within the ecosystem, the Summit is one of three running concurrently, which will involve around 100 speakers and over 400 attendees.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has now been confirmed as Gold Sponsor of the Summit. Launched in 2014, the Programme discovers, celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth via its Queen’s Young Leaders Awards and grant funding.
The partnership between the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and Africa Startup Summit will see the levels of support and opportunities offered to startups attending the event multiplied; both for startups that are part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and those attending the event. It will power a condensed startup accelerator programme for any interested startup on day two of the event, to be run by the Zambia-based tech and innovation hub BongoHive.
BongoHive is Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub, that aims to improve access to local technology and the startup industry. With a grant from the Queen’s Young Leaders programme, BongoHive has been able to support more than 470 startups in Zambia.
At the Summit, BongoHive will condense its “Discover” and “Launch” startup support programmes into a powerful four-hour workshop, which will provide entrepreneurs with practical advice on how they can build and grow a startup in Africa.
A selection of entrepreneurs supported by the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme will also have the chance to pitch on stage at the Africa Startup Summit, in front of investors, corporates, policymakers and media. This session, which will provide these exciting young businesses with valuable exposure and aims to facilitate funding and partnership opportunities, will run in addition to the Pitch Live event, which will see a further 10 innovative African tech startups pitch at the event.
“The Africa Tech Summit is set to once again provide insight, networking and business opportunities tech leaders in Africa and across the world. The Queen’s Young Leaders are remarkable individuals who are at the forefront of innovating through technology to improve the lives of people across Africa. We are delighted that the Africa Startup Summit will provide them with a unique opportunity to share their inspiring stories and build new partnerships,” said Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which set up the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in partnership with Comic Relief, the Royal Commonwealth Society and the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Continuing Education in 2015.
“The goal of the Africa Startup Summit is to play a proactive role in connecting innovative young founders with potential investors, partners and customers, as well as the knowledge and networks for growing their businesses. This partnership with the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme will go a long way to fulfilling that aim, and we are delighted to welcome them on board. We are also excited about the value being provided to other startups attending the event through the BongoHive workshop,” said Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder.
“We are excited to welcome and learn from these inspirational young leaders, while also connecting them with investors and corporates to help drive growth and investment for the ventures they are building,” said Andrew Fassnidge, Founder of Africa Tech Summit.