Sanofi extends 2019 VivaTech Africa Challenge entry deadline to February 22

Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company, has announced the extension of the registration period for the call for proposals for this year’s VivaTech, an annual technology conference, dedicated to innovation and startups to February 22, 2019.

Peter Munyasi, Sanofi Kenya Country Chair and GM said that the extension will allow more start-ups to register for the competition which seeks entries for innovative solutions that improve awareness, diagnosis and management of diseases in the region. The initial deadline was February 15, 2019.

“So far we have received 17 entries from East Africa and we are encouraging more innovators to send their entries to this competition. I believe we are on course to registering a higher number of start-ups compared to last year, “said Munyasi.

(TOP: R-L – Dr Loka Lantum, CEO, Sagitarix; Dr Tanvi Shah, CEO and co-founder of The PillShop; and Peter Munyasi, the Sanofi Kenya country chair and GM of GEM, during the launch of the 2019 VivaTech challenge. The entry deadline has been extended to February 22 from the earlier date of February 15, 2019). 

A jury of professionals will select the final start-ups in March. Start-ups will be evaluated according to 5 criteria which are concrete evidence of positive results in at least one African country, project maturity, relevance of the solution, market potential and business model, skills, expertise and experience of the team and finally scientific evidence if applicable.

The selected start-ups will be invited to present their innovative solutions at Afric@Tech, a Lab dedicated to the African continent within Viva Technology. They will defend their projects in front of a jury consisting of Sanofi representatives and industry professionals, and will be able to demonstrate their solutions to the public at the annual event to be held in Paris, France in May this year.

The competitors will be presented with three challenges aim to identify, select and support the best start-ups in their desire to invent tomorrow’s solutions in the health sector on the African continent.

·         The first challenge is to provide solutions to enhance awareness, diagnosis and disease management of patients suffering from diabetes. Today, over two-thirds of adults living with diabetes in Africa are unaware of their condition[1]. Once diagnosed, a majority of patients remains untreated or uncontrolled, mainly because of access and affordability, lack of medical capabilities and patient education.  

·         The second challenge focuses on how to improve access to medicines in remote areas from supply chain management to alternative payment solutions. This challenge should make it possible to develop innovative and personalized solutions, for better patient care, even in the most isolated areas. Sanofi is looking for tools developing systems reaching the “Last Mile” through e-commerce, direct to pharmacy, direct to patient and tailored payment solutions and can provide better health support for people.                             

·         Finally, the last challenge looks for solutions to support decision-makers in getting a better usage of available health data to recognize and predict diseases, for research purposes and to improve health care management. This challenge aims to identify solutions to assist in the decision-making process and the evaluation of public-private partnerships.

This call for projects is free and open to all. Entries can be submitted online until Friday February 22, 2019.

In 2018, Sanofi received 190 start-up applications and 10 were selected to join the Sanofi stand in the Afric@Tech dedicated space at VivaTech.

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