Award for under-dog tech startup founders unveiled

2 minutes

Do you fancy getting US$60,000 (around Kes8.8 million) for just being an under-dog tech-preneur in Kenya who has stuck to his enterprise despite all odds in Kenya?

InDrive, a global mobility company, has unveiled the Underdog Tech Award aimed at honouring the founders of the most promising tech startups outside of the well-established tech hubs and startup communities.

Marking its global debut, the Underdog Tech Award is making a significant entry in Kenya — a country that is fast garnering a reputation as the heart of innovation in the East African region. This initiative celebrates Kenya’s role as a critical entity in the African startup landscape, highlighting the nation’s commitment to spearheading innovative technologies.

Several studies have put Kenya among the African countries leading in start-up scenes. Others are Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa which won 92 percent of Africa’s investment in tech in 2021, according to African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2021 report.

The Underdog Tech Award has been created to support technology startups that are successfully founded despite facing challenges due to their location such as limited resources and lack of access to funding and important events.

Early-stage technology startups located outside major IT hubs, specifically those in US, Israel and Europe, can participate in the Underdog Tech Award selection process.

To be eligible for entry, startups must have a significant positive impact on their communities (or have the potential to do so) and have good prospects for rapid scaling.

The first stage – the application phase – begins on September 19 and ends on December 1, 2023. All applications submitted during this time will be considered.

During the second stage, which starts in December 2023, award nominees and the top 20 candidates will be determined and shortlisted.

Mark Loughran, Group President of inDrive noted that this is not the first award that the taxi-hailing company has organised, others being Aurora Tech Award, an award for women in IT, along with other initiatives to support those who need and deserve it.

“Now we have organised an award for ‘underdogs’. We at inDrive are still underdogs, and proud of it. We aim to support innovative startups that make the world better. And we are thrilled to provide them with the platform and financial support needed for their growth and development,” said Loughran.

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