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In 2019, the SA Innovation Summit launched the Africa Cup – a competition providing start-ups and early stage companies in tech-enabled sectors from around the world to compete for investment, showcase their products and services, gain market and media exposure, and secure support in the stages of scaling and growth.

The Africa Cup serves as the grand finale on the main stage of the Summit, which aims to promote and develop the entrepreneurial creativity of start-ups who are disrupting the traditional ways of doing business. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain visibility with global investors and industry titans, secure financial and business support and network with potential enablers and sponsors


Business solutions belonging to one of the following tracks are encouraged (not exclusive): 

Industry 4.0

Social Entrepreneurship


Bio & Health

Life Sciences, Pharma, Health, Biotech, Medtech, e-Health

Informative Tech

Digital, High Tech, Fintech, Robotics & IoT, Edutech & Entertainment, B2C and B2B solutions, Big data enabling Solutions, Smart Factory and Industry 4.0

Global Impact

Cleantech (Energy, Air, Water), Design Environment, Social Impact, Transport & Mobility, Smart Cities, Materials & processes

Competition entries will be evaluated by a team of expert judges. Judges will select up to 25 pitches from the initial pool of entries to compete in the final live pitch round. 

During the preliminary evaluation process the pitches will be reviewed on the basis of the information provided in the online questionnaire according to the following criteria: 

  • Business model and execution strategy quality;
  • Market attractiveness and ability to provide solution to the identified need;
  • Business proposition innovation level (technology, products and/or services);
  • Sound revenue and profit models;
  • Strategic competitive positioning;
  • Strong management team.


  • Showcase your technologies / ideas to a wider audience
  • Get PR exposure
  • Obtain access to funds and acceleration support (the judges will commit to second interviews if the pitches are of interest)
  • Tap into different markets (the audience will watch to make connections)
  • Have access to technical expertise (advisers, IP specialists & venture capitalists)
  • Get access to the Match and Invest Lounge, where key funders will be available for consultation (We put together a high impact group that would otherwise take years to identify and pitch to).


The Competition is open to all early- and later stage high-potential startup companies, private or publicly held, who meet the following criteria: 

  • a start-up with a turnover of up to ZAR 100 million;
  • the model is an original idea with unique IP of technological solutions;
  • the company demonstrates high growth potential, scalability, and/or has national or international expansion plans with a high level of commitment by shareholders and management team;
  • close to achieving break-even or profitability.

If you only have an idea or you not commercialised yet, please consider entering the Inventors Garage Competition instead. 


  • Please take your time to carefully submit your pitch as this application will be the first level of evaluation.
  • You can enter as an individual, group or a company.
  • The Intellectual Property should belong to you or your company and you should be able to supply proof of ownership on request.
  • This competition officially opens on 28 February and closes on 28 June 2020.
  • You can pitch more than once for different products.
  • Only entries received online using the online submission form will be accepted.
  • The SA Innovation Summit reserves the right, by its sole discretion, not to accept entries or to disqualify entries at any stage should it transpire that such entries have been made by illegitimate, suspicious, and/or unqualified participants.
  • Winners will be chosen by a qualified appointed judging panel. Judges for round one and round two will differ. The judging panel’s decision is final.
  • Where applicable:The Africa Cup is a non-confidential competition and the full responsibility lies with entrants themselves to protect their concepts through any means. Your concepts will be viewed in public and by many different audiences in order for you to make connections. It is therefore important to be compelling about what you do and how you will be sustainable without divulging your know-how in terms of recipes, formulas, code, knowledge or other means. 
  • By entering the competition, you give the SA Innovation Summit permission to use images, footage and other visuals collected during the pitch on social media, the Summit website and any other platform relevant to the SA Innovation Summit.
  • Finalists are responsible for their own traveling and accommodation cost when attending the event.
  • For any competition inquiries, please email us at 
  • All participants will be informed of the outcome of the results after the judging process has been completed after the closing date. The SA Innovation Summit will not be covering transportation and accommodation costs for finalists who will be presenting at the Summit event.
  • A complimentary delegate ticket will be issued to all finalists.