Award-winning local startups enter next round of Southern African Startup Awards
Eleven Startup Awards were given out last week to various small businesses at the first-ever Southern Africa Startup Awards hosted by the Namibia Business Innovation Institute in collaboration with First National Bank and the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.
Resorting under the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), the Business Innovation Institute supports SMEs to improve their ability to grow into larger, sustainable enterprises.
The institute’s Manager of Innovation Marketplace, Mr Silas Newaka said the awards are a means of motivating startups by giving recognition to their talent, in the process building a startup ecosystem for the whole of Namibia. He said the institute strives to use the local awards as a driver to help local startups compete against other small businesses in the region, and eventually, even to compete against startups from 45 other countries as part of the Global Startup Awards.
The awards are run in three stages starting local in Namibia, then covering the southern African region, and finally moving to the Global Awards. For the Namibian startup entrepreneurs, the next target is the regional awards slated for 21 and 22 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.
At last week’s inaugural local awards, Black Gold Engineering was named the Startup of the Year. It also received the award for Best Startup Ecosystem Initiative.
In other categories, Elephonic Katoshe D30 is the Best Newcomer and its founder, Kennedy Liswani is the Founder of the Year.
The Best Student Startup award went to Taxiapplication while Dololo took the honours as Best Accellerator/Incubator Programme.
Well-known small entrepreneur, Tanya Stroh, was named the Female Role Model in Tech.
The best edutech startup is Digitex with their Edu Box and the startup with the best social impact is Solve Namibia. This company was also awarded for the best Water Crisis Solution.
Finally, the popular vote went to InterCity.
Although the Business Innovation Institute also looked for candidates in Fin Tech, Co-Working Space, and Investor of the Year, no awards were given in these categories.