• Are you an African national?

    Do you run a promising start-up in China?

    Looking to grow your business but lack the funds?

    Want advice/mentorship from successful business people?

     

    Apply to pitch your Start-up at Africa Week 2018, and you could win the proceedings of the entire week’s events for your growing business and entry into the Zhongguancun Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

    About Africa Week

     

    Africa week is a series of events and activities held across Beijing between May 18th and May 24th to celebrate Africa and increase positive engagement with Africa in China.

  • How It Works

    1

    Submit

    All applications are due by May 10th 2018! Click on the submit button below to send in your applications

    2

    Short-Listing

    An independent panel of judges will review and short-list the 5 most promising businesses to present at the pitch competition

    3

    Announcement

    The 5 semi-finalists will be announced at the launch of Africa Week on May 18th

    4

    Prep

    Mentors with experience in business and entrepreneurship will support semi-finalists prepare for their pitch competition

    5

    Pitch Competition

    The 5 semi-finalists will present to a panel of successful professionals, entrepreneurs and experts on May 26th for a chance to win the proceeds raised during Africa Week 2018 and entry into the Zhongguancun Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

  • Eligibility:

    • Founder/Co-Founder of the start-up should be an African based in China, and should be playing an active day-to-day role in the affairs of the start-up
    • Start-Up should be less than 3 years old - business ideas are also welcome. 
    • Team pitches are welcome but should be driven by the African on the team with a clear indication of the role of the African national in the business 
    • Business should have a clear link to either Africa, Africans in China and/or Africa China relations
    • The competition is sector-agnostic and start-ups focused on any sector are welcome to apply 

    Each application will be considered carefully and ranked based on the following factors:

    • High potential to contribute to improving Africa-China relations, and/or lives of Africans in China

    • Creates value in a novel and/or efficient way

    • Clear articulation of how funds will support the future vision of the business

    • The viability of the business and the plan presented

    Applications will be Short-listed to the Top 5 Business Ideas

    An independent panel will shortlist the 5 most promising ideas and invite those businesses to pitch at our finale event on the 26th of May at Schwarzman College

     

    Our panel of judges has been carefully selected to ensure that finalists will have a chance to receive expert opinions and perspectives, as well as have the opportunity to be connected to key networks for their future development

  • LIST OF JUDGES

    Brian Ingram - CEO of Russell Investments

    Ruby Fu - Business Management, Market entry & Communications Expert

    Badr - CEO of Caravan Restaurant

    Nicole Bonnah - CEO and Founder of Halo Hummus

    Professor Yanfeng Li, Peking University Professor and Founder of Healthcare Innovation Workshop

  • Why Participate?

    Community Support

    By awarding the funds raised during Africa Week to the winner of the competition, we will ensure that participants of Africa Week all feel connected and invested in the businesses that are short-listed.

    Publicity

    We will use Africa Week as a way to showcase our finalists' businesses and ideas. We will work to ensure there's significant media coverage of the various events, especially the pitch competition and thus ensure that finalists' have an opportunity to gain recognition beyond Africa Week

    Access to Expert Advice, Potential Mentors and Networks

    Our panel of judges will be comprised of professionals, experts and practitioners in:

    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Management

    Our audience will also include incubators, potential investors and advisers who can support semi-finalists beyond the pitch competition

    Finance

    Profits raised from the week of activity will go towards supporting our finalists' business! The more people that support Africa week the larger the opportunity for financial support!

  • CALLING ALL AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS

    Deadline: 10th May 2018

  • FAQs

    What are the eligibility requirements for the pitch competition?

    • Founder/Co-Founder of the start-up should be an African based in China, and should be playing an active day-to-day role in the affairs of the start-up
    • Start-Up should be less than 3 years old
    • Business should have a clear link to either Africa, Africans in China and/or Africa China relations

    Do I have to be registered to apply?

      • No. Business ideas and entities not yet registered are welcome to apply. The finalist of the pitch competition will  receive support from our partner - the Zhongguancun Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, to register officially. 

        Are Teams comprised of Africans and Non-Africans allowed to apply?

          • Yes, pitches made up of teams from African and Non-African nationalities are welcome.  However, the pitch should be driven by the African on the team with a clear indication of the role of the African national in the business 

            Is the competition limited to specific sectors?

              • The competition is sector-agnostic and businesses in a range of sectors are welcome to apply

                How will semi-finalists be supported for the pitch competition?

                • Semi-Finalists will receive guidelines to support their preparation, including materials and advice from our team of reviewers and judges. For example, Professor Yanfeng Li of Peking University will provide tutorials from his Innovation and Entrepreneurship workshops to semi-finalists. 

                Will we cover transportation for semi-finalists who are outside of Beijing:

                  • We are currently unable to provide transportation for semi-finalists who are not based in Beijing, but will make arrangements so that any non-Beijing based semi-finalist can make their pitch via Skype video call 

                    Why is it limited to Africans?

                      • One of the objectives of Kente & Silk is to increase African agency in the Africa-China relationship, so our competition specifically aims at supporting African entrepreneurs in China who are exercising agency to change the nature of Africa-China relations. In the future, we may run other programs that have different focus.
                    • Contact Us

                      Have Questions? Don't be afraid to reach out.