AfricArena visits one of Africa’s largest tech hubs: Lagos.

Our pitching event in Lagos was particularly memorable as it pushed the boundaries of African ecosystem innovation. The event, which took place on 18 July at MEST Incubator, welcomed a full-house of entrepreneurs and investors, sponsors and startups, and a panel of speakers who kept us on our toes.


A brief overview of what happened at the event


Introduced by Laurent Polonceaux, the Consul General of France in Lagos, the first event of the day kicked off with an intensive panel discussion around the question: “What is your perspective of the role of Nigeria in the African start-up ecosystem?”. This was then followed by the startup pitches.

The speakers included people from various corporate, investor, ecosystem and startup groups, featuring Remco Böhre (Commercial Director of Air France-KLM in Nigeria and Ghana), Alexandra Novitske (Principal Investment Officer at Singularity Investment Africa), Nosa Omusi (Managing Director at MEST Incubator in Lagos), Andrew Airelobhegbe (CEO at Ogavenue) and Osarumen Osamuyi (Head of Investment and Research at Ventures Platform). The speaker exchanges were incredibly informative.

Pitching for VINCI Energies, Air France-KLM, Saint-Gobain and the Best of Nigeria Ecosystem Challenges, the startups included Femi Adeyemo (Arnergy) for VINCI Energies, Enze Gabriel (Touchabl), Chidi Nwaogu (Publiseer) and Valentine Ubalua (Nicademia) for Air France-KLM, and Arik Olakunle (Teachersaroundme), Dami Lola (Scholar X) and Godwin Benson (Tuteria) for Saint-Gobain.

The Best of Lagos Ecosystem Challenge included the following startups: Olawale Adetula (TNC Stories), Según Adeyemi (MTransfer), Andrew Airelobhegbe (Ogavenue), Merijn Campsteyn (Accounteer), Daniel Aude (DriversNG), Abdulazeez Oguntoyinbo (Electronic ESUSU), Samuel Akinniyi Ajiboyede (Matutu) and Chizaram Ucheaga (Mavis Education). The award-winning startup of the day was Olawale Adetula from TNC Stories, an application used to read stories which are made up of short text messages. As a result, Olawale Adetula will pitch at AfricArena 2018. Flights and accommodation are included.

The AfricArena team would like to say thank you to MEST Incubator, our challenge partners, sponsors, and investors for making this event happen. To the startups who won’t be joining us at AfricArena 2018, we’ll be back in Lagos next year. Good luck with your future endeavours and we hope to see you soon!


Wrapping up another successful event


After celebrating a handful of stand-out events in Nairobi, Paris, New York City and Casablanca, this pit-stop in Lagos made us even more excited for the final AfricArena conference on 15 to 16 November. Next up is Dakar and a few more exciting events. Stay tuned to our LinkedIn page to learn more.

Having had the opportunity to already engage and connect with so many talented, unique startup entrepreneurs, we can honestly say that visitors are in for a real treat this year. You can expect keynote speeches and panel discussions with influential speakers from Europe and Africa, as well as startups battling it out to win an investment opportunity of a lifetime. All startups interested can upload and submit their pitches, according to an AfricArena 2018 challenge via our website.

Please note, your pitch needs to fit into one of these themes: Smart City, Smart Agri, Smart Commerce, Smart Skills, Smart Media or Smart Travel.


The challenges are the following:

 AfricArena Tour Challenges – open to startups in Senegal (pre-selection pitch in Dakar on September 19) and South Africa:

Air France-KLM Tour Challenge: Air France-KLM is looking for an innovative solution that could help build and enrich the travel experience in Africa.

Vinci Energies Tour Challenge: This challenge focuses on how to make energy more accessible in Africa, using energy efficiency solutions such as energy flows, blockchain and AI.

Saint-Gobain Tour Challenge: Saint-Gobain is looking for a solution to upgrade professionals’ skills across Africa (incl. remote ares).

Dakar Ecosystem Challenge: We are looking for the most disruptive startups in Dakar to come and pitch at the AfricArena conference in Cape Town.


 AfricArena Challenges – open to startups from all over Africa:

Air France-KLM Challenge: Air France-KLM has launched a new challenge on how technological innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) could enrich airline Joon (Air France-KLM’s new lower-cost subsidiary) with its customer journey.

Vinci Energies Challenge: This challenge focusses on how to benefit from digitalization for a better optimisation of industrial and energetic performance.

RCS Challenge: RCS is looking for a product which is able to secure and store customer ID and authentication credentials to help ease customer on-boarding and transaction approval.

Saint-Gobain Challenge: Saint-Gobain is looking for a satellite trend analysis solution that is able to predict urban and climate challenges.


For more information on how to get involved as a startup, investor or partner, please send your request to or register online today.