The 2020 Space-Tech Challenge Winners Announced

The 2020 Space-Tech Earth Observation Innovation Challenge, convened by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and ZA SPACE, in partnership with RIIS, Maxar, FNB, SA Innovation Summit, and Anza Capital, aims to develop early-stage tech start-ups that are geared toward empowering Africa through utilizing the downstream applications of space technology. The challenge aimed to empower African innovators who are using geospatial intelligence to serve African industries, which include agriculture, insurance, retail and sustainability and conservation.

The challenge, which launched in September 2021, attracted submissions from all across Africa. Of these, 15 finalists were selected to go through to the final round which included an intense two-week virtual business development training, and an opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions in a pitching den to a panel of judges who comprised of challenge partners.

The prizes include*:

  • Four-month online incubation and virtual mentorship, and ongoing access to a peer-to-peer network through the TechTribe Accelerator
  • First place winner: SecureWatch Premium 5GB valid for three months to the value of $12,500
  • Second place & Third place winners: SecureWatch Premium 2GB valid for three months to the value of $5,000

*The awarding of the prizes is subject to the needs and scalability of each respective business.

The winners of the challenge are as follows:

  • First place: Hydro Blu–  Joash Kisten, South Africa
  • Second place: Smart AgrIoT-  Jabu Madlala, South Africa
  • Third place: HeHe – Crepin Kayisire, Rwanda, & FieldDev Group Nigeria– Nduka Okpue, Nigeria

 The 2021 Space-Tech Challenge:

The next iteration of the Space-Tech challenge in 2021 will focus more on promoting new entrants and entrepreneurs across the industry value chain, which will strengthen Africa’s geospatial readiness. The challenge will aim to demystify the space industry for entrepreneurs by bringing together relevant stakeholders, government agencies, and commercial organizations, and civil society.

There are further plans underway for a Space Infrastructure Hub (SIH) in South Africa, which will also play a role in developing the space-technology ecosystem by providing the appropriate platforms for developing new skills whilst leveraging the current areas of expertise in South Africa. The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is working closely with the industry (through ZA SPACE) to map the way forward. Ultimately the SIH can be leveraged to stimulate the local industry by designing and investing in projects that utilise local skills and Intellectual Property (IP) for application on a global stage.

You can access a full recording of the pitching den here

For more information about the winners of the Space-Tech Innovation Challenge and the next challenge, please visit:

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