2018 Afrikonnect Summit set for Morocco, targets Africa-based startups

StartupYourLife and LaFactory, two key ecosystem players in the Moroccan tech scene, are building a platform to connect leading corporations with top African startups to foster open innovation, unlock regional markets and connect North and sub-Saharan tech scenes. 

Afrikonnect is being hosted in partnership with Outlierz Ventures, a seed capital fund based in Morocco and dedicated to African startups, with the support of the US Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). 

This invite-only event is gathering 200 high-level participants from the public and private sectors, from corporate decision makers and government representatives to investors and startups hailing from across the continent, to international institutions and governmental entities supporting the development of the new economy on the continent. 

Participants include high-level speakers such as Fadi Ghandour, Chairman of Wamda Capital, a VC fund in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region which invested in Twiga Foods in Kenya last year; Aaron Fu, MD of MEST, the largest incubator in Africa with operations in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya; Marième Diop, Investment Manager at Orange Digital Ventures, the VC4Africa team; as well as some key Seed and Series A startups from across the continent such as Paystack, Asoko Insights, and Morocco’s own WaystoCap. 

The purpose is to create an exclusive matchmaking platform to:  

·         Enable leading industry players with a strong presence in Africa (banking, insurance, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, etc.) to explore co-innovation opportunities with high-growth startups from the continent

·         Foster co-investment opportunities and provide Africa-focused early-stage investors access to dealflow of Seed stage and Series A companies

·         Connect the North and Subsaharan startup ecosystems and create stronger bonds between key players

To this end, Afrikonnect partner, Outlierz Ventures, will host exclusive B2B Matchmaking meetings to enable decision makers from large organizations to meet African startups who have been pre-identified to be a potential great fit to offer value. 

Kenza Lahlou, Managing Partner of Outlierz Ventures and co-founder of StartupYourLife, exclaimed, “We are excited to announce the first Afrikonnect Summit. The African continent is undergoing a tech revolution and new business models are redefining the traditional sectors. It is now time for startups and large corporations to work together to co-innovate, reveal the future success stories of the continent while providing to large companies the agility and the expertise startups have to reinvent themselves and disrupt their own industries”.

Mehdi Alaoui, founder of LaFactory, also expressed enthusiasm for the event: “I’m proud to be part of the Afrikonnect adventure. The whole LaFactory team is very happy to be a partner of this first summit which, I am sure, will become a must-attend event. At the time of open innovation and the great flight of digital Africa, it was more than opportune to create a platform to connect ecosystems, engage major groups and embrace Africa.”

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