The semi-finalist judging panel for 2019 Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) has been announced, Jason Pau, Senior Advisor for International Programmes for Jack Ma Foundation has said.
The ANPI is a prize competition for African entrepreneurs spearheaded by Jack Ma Foundation.
In a statement on Wednesday, Pau said for the next 10 years, the ANPI would be hosted across Africa culminating in an annual finale where 10 finalists would compete in a pitch competition.
“The ANPI aims to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors, who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.
“Applications for the first ANPI officially closed June 30 and nearly 10,000 applications from 50 African countries were received.
“The semi-finalist judging panel consists of seven esteemed entrepreneurs, investors, and businesspeople from across the continent,” he said.
He listed the judges to include the founder and CEO of SoleRebels, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, who owned the premium coffee brand, Garden of Coffee.
The other judge is Fatoumata Ba, a technology entrepreneur and venture capital investor currently serving as the Founder and Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital.
Also on the panel is Marième Diop, the Investment Manager at Orange Digital Ventures Africa, Orange Group’s 50 million euros venture capital fund dedicated to African startups.
Another person on the panel is AuM, Hasan Haider , Partner at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley, with more than 2,000 investments in more than 50 countries and 400 million dollars.
Also on the panel are, the founder and Managing Partner of 4DX Ventures, Peter Orth, and René Parker, Managing Director and CEO of RLabs, a global social enterprise with a strong focus on community-driven innovation and social change.
The last judge listed was Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Group, an ecosystem of organisations that collectively aims to develop three million entrepreneurial leaders for Africa by 2035.
Pau said the panel would evaluate the semi-finalists and select the top 10 finalists for the ANPI.
He said the judges would award a share of one million dollars in total grand prize money during the finale event in Accra in November.
“We are thrilled with the response and the quality of the applications we have received. We look forward to the next phase where this panel of illustrious judges will help decide on our finalists.
“Our goal when selecting the roster of judges for the ANPI was to find true representatives of the diverse entrepreneurial and business landscape in Africa.
“The judges we have selected are true leaders in their industries, and bring vastly different backgrounds, accomplishments, and skillsets to the table. Their feedback will be invaluable and will set the tone for the competition.
“We wish both the applicants and judges the best of luck as we make our way to the grand finale in Accra,” Pau said.
Also, said Sam Gichuru, Founder and CEO of Nailab, said they were impressed to see the passion coming from across Africa.
“I am inspired by the quality of applications received and to see how young and old people are making a difference through the resilience and grit shown by their focus on the community.
“I am looking forward to seeing the finalists for the first year. To the entrepreneurs who missed the application deadline, be ready to apply in the coming year,” he said
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