Startup of the Year Africa 2017 – applications open

After two successful editions of the “Startup of the Year” award in France (with 2700 participating startups), Bonjour Idée, the collaborative magazine for startups and OCP Group the world leader in the phosphate markets and its derivatives as well as a committed player for sustainable agriculture in Africa,  have teamed up to launch the first African edition of the Startup of the Year competition, “Startup of the Year/Africa 2017”.

Other partners including PwC, ENGIE, SNCF, Be-Bound, Qwant along with fifty other media and industry partners are contributing to the success of the event.

The “Startup of the Year/Africa – 2017” Awards

Startup of the Year Africa 2017 - applications open

Dedicated to African ecosystem, this first edition, calls on African based startups, startups founded by at least one member of the African diaspora as well as international startups willing to settle in Africa, to apply online via the website, Application is open until  31 December 2016

The primary goal of this award is to promote the African economic and social development through innovative and efficient startups.

The competition is free and open to all startups meeting the following criteria:

  • Have legal status (a registration number will be required)
  • Headquartered in Africa to be chosen as the “African Startup of the Year” and for “OCP Agritech Special Award.”

No geographical restrictions for the other awards are required.

  • The Startup Foundation date has to be from 1 January 2010

The Rewards

Different awards are expected

The “Startup of the Year/Africa – 2017” Judging Panel’s Awards:

  • 1st Prize: a cheque for €10,000 and a €10,000 communications package (featured on, communications campaign in the press and on social media). The winning startup will be networked with all the competition partners
  • The panel’s award for its favorite entry: A €10,000 communications package. The winning startup will be networked with all the competition partners

The Public’s Awards

  • 1st Prize as voted by the public (1st position in the #TOP100 after the public vote): a cheque for €2,000, Bonjour Idée communication package and the startup will be put in contact with all the competition partners
  • 2nd – 5th Prizes as voted by the public: Bonjour Idée’ communication package.

The Partners’ Special Awards

In addition to the judging panel and the public awards, our partners will grant Special Awards, each one accompanied by cheque for up to €5,000, support packages and Bonjour Idée communication package.

  • OCP Agritech Special Award which will be given to an innovative agricultural startup.
  • The SNCF Destination Africa Special Award which will be given to an international startup willing to settle in Africa.
  • The African Diaspora Special Award which will be given to a startup founded by an African diaspora member

The calendar

  • 9 November 2016 from 10 am ‘til midday official launch event conference for the Startup of the Year/Africa 2017 competition, held at COP 22 in Marrakech (Morocco)
  • Until 31 December 2016: call for applications and online submissions
  • from 2 ‘til 15 January 2017: Public vote to determine the public’s top 100 startups.
  • 26 January 2017: Conference and awards ceremony in Casablanca, Morocco.

The process continues throughout the year, promoting African startups and monitoring actions undertaken by partners as part of open innovation programs to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa.

The organisers

About Bonjour Idée

Launched in 2011 by Kossi Adzo (Software Engineer, Ex Bell-Labs) in an interactive format, Bonjour Idée has become the number 1 collaborative magazine dedicated to startups.  Bonjour Idée has two goals:

  • Showcasing the latest startups and making them more visible to our audience, primarily made up of players within the innovation industry, journalists, investors and early adopters,
  • Enabling large groups to meet with startups which are essential to their transformation using calls for projects, competitions, and bespoke events.

Bonjour Idée also has: a database of 8500 startups, 2000 of which are freely available on; 100 new startups included every month; 90,000 registered users and more than 100,000 unique visitors every month.

More information on

About OCP Group

OCP is proud to play a major role in feeding a growing global population, by providing essential elements for soil fertility and plants growth.

With almost a century of experience, OCP Group is a leader in the phosphate rock and derivate markets. OCP provides a wide range of well-adapted fertilizer products to enhance soil, increase agricultural yields, and help to feed the planet in a sustainable and affordable way.

Headquartered in Morocco, OCP works in close partnership with more than 160 customers over five continents.

As part of its commitment to serving African agriculture and for sustainable agriculture, OCP puts innovation at the heart of its strategy.

To support project leaders, OCP Group encourages entrepreneurship to generate jobs on a long –term basis through the program OCP Entrepreneurship Network ( OCPEN).

For more information visit :

The partners

About PwC France and French-speaking African countries 
PwC offers to consult, auditing and accounting expertise in France and across French-speaking African countries, focusing on a sectoral approach.
PwC’s international network of more than 223,000 people in 157 countries shares innovative solutions, expertise, and viewpoints to provide a quality service for its clients and its partners. The French entities and French-speaking African members of PwC are made up of 5,800 employees in 23 countries. Go to
By working every day to advise and accompany its clients on their path to success, PwC contributes to the dynamics of the French economy. Through its research and expert analysis, PwC is also committed to preparing for the economies of the future and to developing new technological uses. Lastly, by providing solutions to control risks, PwC is creating a sense of trust between players and helping to secure the heart of the French economy.
“PwC” refers to the PwC network and one or more of its member entities, each of which constitutes its separate legal entity. For more information, go to

About the ENGIE Group

ENGIE is the biggest independent power producer in the world. The Group puts responsible growth at the heart of its business (electricity, natural gas, energy services) to respond to the major issues of the energy transition towards a low-carbon economy: access to sustainable energy, mitigating and adapting to climate change and the careful use of resources.

ENGIE works in partnership with entrepreneurs, startups and experts to innovate and create solutions which will shape the energy of the future. Since 2014, ENGIE has launched 45 calls for projects: more than 1000 proposals from startups have been submitted on its innovation platform (, and 50 have been awarded prizes.

About SNCF

Our job? Getting you closer. Making the transportation of people and goods simple and smooth. Creating and developing the transport of the future. And that’s not all…  In figures (2015): €31.4bn in revenue (33.3% of which was generated abroad), €8.2bn in investments, 260,000 employees in 120 countries.

More information on

About Qwant

Qwant is a “Made in France” European search engine which is based on two principles: respect for privacy and the neutrality of results. It has a different view of the internet, aiming to offer a credible, intuitive alternative and to rebuild Internet users’ trust. A simple interface displays results which show content from the web, social networks, and news, along with photos and videos.

Today Qwant is available in 15 languages and 25 countries, its user numbers are steadily growing and, as of September 2016, it has 27 million monthly visitors.

More information on

About Be-Bound

Founded in 2011 by Albert Szulman and Yazid Chir, Be-Bound® is based on a simple idea: connecting everyone, anywhere in the world, immediately, to reduce the digital divide. To achieve this, Be-Bound allows anyone with a smartphone or any other connected mobile device to access the mobile internet, whatever network is available (Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G, EDGE, GPRS, and SMS) and whatever its quality.

More information on:

Press contact

For more information about the awards

Competition page:

Press release + images:

Competition hashtag: #StartupAfro

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