In a world where gender equality remains an ongoing challenge, the African tech industry is witnessing a transformative revolution, highlighted by the prestigious Aurora Tech Awards. Launched in 2020, the Aurora Tech Awards is a global annual celebration of women founders of IT startups who are breaking boundaries and shattering stereotypes in the tech world. The Aurora Tech Awards is proud to announce that entries for the 2024 Aurora Tech Awards are now open.
The significant shift in Africa’s technological landscape became undeniably evident during the 2023 Aurora Tech Award. A large portion of the nominations highlighted the achievements of African women in tech from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, all of whom helm IT startups that have rendered immense value to their communities. These visionary women not only harnessed technology to bridge the gap between communities and essential educational, health, and financial services but also fervently supported fellow entrepreneurs in their pursuits. The 2023 award was ultimately won by Elizabeth Mwangi from Kenya and her startup, Gwiji for Women, which connects cleaners living in the slums of Nairobi with their clients.
The award’s mission is threefold: to applaud the strides of women in IT entrepreneurship, to empower them with the resources they deserve through substantial cash prizes, and to shatter the very gender biases that have long confined the industry.
“In a tech world still grappling with gender disparity, awards like the Aurora Tech Award are catalysts for change. Our recognition empowers women, shattering barriers and inspiring young minds. The positive feedback from past winners resonates with the transformative impact. As applications pour in globally, we’re excited to spotlight talents making community-changing impacts and serving as role models. We envision a future where gender ceases to limit potential. This award isn’t just a recognition; it’s a step towards a more inclusive and innovative tomorrow,” says Ekaterina Smirnova, executive director of the Aurora Tech Award.
The Aurora Tech Award heralds a future where innovation knows no gender and where women’s potential flourishes uninhibited. It’s not just about breaking glass ceilings; it’s about forging an industry that stands as a testament to the capabilities of all, regardless of gender.
The application must meet the following criteria:
1. Women founder: The startup must be founded or co-founded and led by a woman entrepreneur
2. Funding stage: The startup should not have received investments exceeding $4 million in funding, including the seed round
3. Operation time: The startup must be no more than 5 years old
4. Minimum viable product (MVP): The startup should have a functional prototype. If you have only an idea, your application will not be considered.
Applications can be submitted via the award’s website.
Dates and deadlines
Entries should be submitted between September 5 and December 1, 2023. The finalist announcement date is January 31, 2024. Afterwards, the final assessments and announcement of winners will be made on March 8, 2024.
The panel of judges will include prominent female IT entrepreneurs, the winners of last year’s Aurora Tech Award, and key industry experts.
The prizes will be awarded as follows:
- First prize: $30,000
- Second prize: $20,000
- Third prize: $10,000
There will only be one winner per category, and the prize can be awarded to a contestant from any of the participating countries. In addition to the prizes, the entrepreneurs will gain access to the inDriver mentorship program.
Aurora Tech Award is a non-profit initiative of inDrive, a global mobility and urban services platform. Today, inDrive is available in more than 40 countries, has been downloaded over 175 million times and was the second most downloaded mobility app in 2022. In addition to ride-hailing, inDrive provides an expanding list of urban services, including intercity transportation, freight delivery, task assistance, courier delivery and employment search services. inDrive is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with regional hubs in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS countries, employing more than 2,700 people.
The Aurora Tech Award is an award for women tech startup founders whose projects have had a profound impact on global development. The objective is to support women in the field of advanced technologies, especially women entrepreneurs.