On Wednesday evening, MEST Africa announced Kilimo Fresh from Tanzania as the winners of the 2020 MEST Africa startup challenge having competed in the pitch finals with startups from; Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, and Senegal.
In light of this uncertain time, MEST Africa Challenge was held entirely virtual for the first time since its inception three years ago. Therefore, this year’s final pitches where held on Zoom as the continent’s tech innovators pitched their businesses to industry expert judges, local ecosystem partners, the MEST Africa team and a global audience.
MEST Africa announced a new element to the 2020 finale – the Community Choice Vote. Audience members had the opportunity to vote for their favourite startup during the event to award them with support from the MEST community (networks, mentorship, training, access to industry players, co-working space and more).
The Community Choice Vote cast by 1,000 attendees was won by Debo Engineering from Ethiopia for their plant-based disease detection, monitoring, and prevention app. While on the other hand, the first and second runners-up were; Bag Innovation from Rwanda and Mousso Africa from Senegal.
Kilimo Fresh as the overall winners of the 2020 MEST Africa Challenge is a B2B e-Commerce produce distribution platform focused on connecting Tanzanian farmers with customers on a B2B model.
The team won and received USD$50,000 in funding and a spot in one of MEST Africa’s incubators.
To-date, MEST Africa Challenge has become an establishment in the startup technology industry, giving an unprecedented global platform to hundreds of local tech entrepreneurs in Africa.