Space-Tech Challenge 2020: African Startups Dominate

Seventeen startups have been selected for the Space-Tech Challenge 2020. Space-Tech challenge aims to develop the African Space industry, especially the downstream sector,  by empowering innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses in the space-tech sector across Africa. 


The winners will receive four months of online incubation and virtual mentorship, and ongoing access to a peer-to-peer network through TechTribe. The overall winner will win a SecureWatch Premium 5GB, valid for three months to the value of USD12,500. First and Second runner-ups will also receive prizes for their performances. Top three finalists will pitch their innovation to a MAXAR representative.

The selected seventeen finalists will progress to the next stage of the challenge, involving an intensive two-week business development support programme. After this stage, the startups will participate in a ‘pitching den’ to be assessed by a panel of judges and industry representatives.

The finalists for the program are:

  • South Africa:
    • Digital mapping startup Abiri,
    • Environment and tech-focused startup Sturtium,
    • Geospatial data science company Hydro Blu,
    • Cloud based digitisation and farm management platform Smart AgrIoT,
    • Natural disaster mapping solution Risk Response,
    • Sustainable farming tech company, UpFarm,
    • Earth Observation data for recovery of stolen products startup, Contre IPC,
    • ABCD Electricity, which uses solar irradiance data to estimate the electricity production capabilities of new PV installations,
    • and The South African Space Technology for Sustainable Development Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
  • Nigeria:
    • Agribusiness-focused geographic information systems (GIS) mapping provider FieldDev,
    • and Agro Data, which optimises tropical farming with the application of technologies.
  • Rwanda
    • HeHe, a post-harvest platform that uses remote sensing technology to forecast supply and consumer data to forecast demand and allocate logistics resources,
    • and FloodWiz, which provides easy-to-use data on flood patterns to assist with disaster management.
  • Botswana:
    • Environmental and geospatial consultancy firm Green Aces
  • Zambia’s:
    • Fourth Line, an agribusiness that handles product distribution for smallholder bee farmers.

and Russia’s GeoAlert, an AI-powered mapping platform.