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UK invites African tech startups to apply for its Pathfinder Awards



UK invites African tech startups to apply for its Pathfinder Awards
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The UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has opened applications for African tech startups to participate in its Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards (UKPA), through which it hopes to discover the most promising tech startup companies across the world.

Building on the success of the UK’s Tech Rocketship Awards, UKPA will be the UK’s Department for Business and Trade’s largest global awards for tech startup companies ever.

According to a statement released on Tuesday by the Office of the Brish Deputy High Commission in Lagos, Startup companies with ambitions to grow globally in the AI, Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM) Technology, Cyber Security, and Digital Trade Solutions sectors are eligible to apply.

It added that the Awards offers African startups a chance to pave their way into the UK’s thriving tech sector, valued at $1 trillion.

Commenting on the initiative, UK Investment Minister, Dominic Johnson said:

“These awards are a fantastic opportunity for tech scale-up companies to join the UK’s thriving $1 trillion tech sector.

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“The awards are part of our commitment across government to help more businesses scale up and benefit from our highly skilled workforce and supportive regulatory system.

“The UK already has more unicorns than France and Germany combined, and our country continues to be a place where tech businesses from across the world come to thrive.”

The statement also quoted His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa John Humphrey, saying:


“The African startup landscape is now front and centre as the world focuses on African know-how and innovation. From bustling tech hubs across the continent from North to South and East to West, young businesses are changing the game by providing innovative solutions to African and global problems, while creating jobs and empowering their communities in the process.

“The launch of the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards across Africa, which offers tech startups from across this vibrant continent the opportunity to showcase their innovation and potential on a global scale, while opening up fascinating opportunities for the UK’s already vibrant tech ecosystem, is an exciting journey of growth and success.”

According to the statement, winners will receive a tailor-made programme in the UK that includes meetings with leading industry and government sector specialists, invites to VIP events and receptions – and expert support from DBT’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which supports ambitious businesses to scale and grow from a UK global headquarters.

Startups can only apply for one category, with one regional winner per category and one overarching category winner.

Submissions will be shortlisted followed by three rounds of pitching, with regional finals, semi-finals with the live finals taking place in the UK in the autumn.

Applications opened on 1st March and closed on 30th April at 23:59 GMT. Interested startups can apply here.