Six finalists were chosen from a wide field of applicants to compete on today’s Brilliant African Innovations Against COVID-19, a “Shark Tank” style contest in which entrepreneurs competed for prizes. The judges for the competition were Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa-Google; Andile Ngcaba, Founding Partner and Chairman of Convergence Partners; Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner of Chanzo Capital; and Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital Innovation, Standard Bank. In addition, over 2,000 audience members voted for their innovator of choice. The audience vote counted for 25% of the total points awarded, while the judges’ votes counted for 75% of the total points awarded.
The first prize was awarded to Laud Basing of Ghana, founder of Incas Diagnostics for his rapid Covid-19 test, which is combined with a comprehensive app that incorporates symptom assessment, data capture of test results, tracking of patient location using GPS signals, and dissemination of all of this information to public health authorities. Laud Basing receives a $500 prize; mentoring by Harvard Business School Professor of Entrepreneurship, Tarun Khanna; and a $5,000 media package from Africa.com. See Basing’s two-minute video submission for the competition below:
The contest judges were so compelled by the strength of the finalists that they decided to award additional prizes to the two finalists who were tied for second place. One of the two second prize winners was Mary Mwangi of Kenya, founder of Data Integrated, for her Epesi Trip Planner, an app that allows tuk-tuk (public bus) passengers to book a ride and pay online ahead of time, thus avoiding densely populated lines to board buses, and the payment of fares electronically, thus avoiding human contact associated with the use of cash. See Mwangi’s two minute video submission for the competition below:
The second finalist tied for second prize was Dr. Wale Adeosun of Nigeria, founder of Wellvis, which uses machine learning to help patients assess their risk for COVID-19, and depending on the outcome, educates patients about the virus, and recommends next steps using a telemedicine platform. The COVID-19 Triage Tool assists the larger medical community, and society, by reducing unnecessary calls and visits to clinics and hospitals. See Adeosun’s two minute video submission for the competition below:https://www.youtube.com/embed/DW1uogppnb0?feature=oembed
Mwangi and Adeosun each won $250 and a $2,500 media package from Africa.com. Mwangi won a mentoring session with Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital Innovation at Standard Bank. Adeosun won a mentoring session with Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa- Google.
Thank you to Convergence Partners for joining Africa.com to fund the prizes.