On the 23rd of January there was an international gathering of African Startups. The Get in the Ring Regional Final of Norther Africa was the mean event of the Startup Africa Summit, organized by Startup Maroc. The Get in the Ring Global Ringmaster, Keith Wallace, welcomed all the 400 fans that were present in Casablanca. For the people that couldn’t make the event there was a livestream of the whole show so they could support their startups from their own country.
Before the first battle starts the panel of high caliber champions were introduced: Sabiry Chafik (Digital Entrepreneur, Experience CEO, and Startup Mentor), Omar Tazi (Telecom/Internet Executive and Investor), Hasan Haider (Venture Partner, 500 Startups), Aaron Fu (Managing Partner at NEST.vc) and Khalil Azzouzi (Director of K&A Associates). There was a fun exchange between the champions and Keith Wallace – it was clear that both the crowd and jury members were excited about the battles that were to come.
In the first battle the Algerian female entrepreneur from Bravo School was beaten by the Moroccan startup LIK. LIK is a company, which gives you mobile phone credit based on a point system.
The Sudanese startup Sudacraft and the startup Votrechauffer from Morocco went head-to-head in the Ring. After a short deliberation the champions announced Votrechauffer, the company that providing taxi services as winner of second battle. What happened next was totally unexpected: Votrechauffer gave away his spot to the female entrepreneur of Sudacraft a platform for handcrafted bags and purses in Sudan.
After this twist in the show Sudacraft and LIK were asked to come in the Ring again to do a final pitch to the judges as to why their startups should win the lightweight title. Keith Wallace presented the winner that will represent Northern Africa in the International Final: LIK.
From the lightweight title we went to third and final middleweight battle. The SmartDelivery service from Sudan competed in a Sudanese jalabiya against the Moroccan startup Linkry. After a few tough questions from the champions about the cashflow of each startup, SmartDelivery was crowned as winner of the middleweight competition. SmartDelivery provides a free delivery service of fresh vegetables, fruits and meat that comes directly from farmers.
The two winners LIK and SmartDelivery will travel to Medellín in March to compete for the Get in the Ring International title. Do you want to support these startups in Colombia? Get your tickets for the grand final here!