FC Startup Innovation Challenge

Pitch to win $1,000 equity-free cash prize and over $300,000 worth of perks for your startup!

Apply Here

In partnership with

The objective of this challenge is to provide validation, resources and growth opportunities for early-stage startup founders across various industries. This will be conducted by having entrepreneurs apply to join the challenge, and ultimately pitch their startups to a panel of judges and an audience if shortlisted.

Founders Connect aspires to create a platform that highlights innovation, connects entrepreneurs with investors and experienced business leaders, and nurtures promising businesses in our communities.

APPLY HERE

Prizes to be won

One startup will win all the prizes listed below, win selected prizes from the list

$1000 equity-free cash prize
Up to $100k in AWS Credit
Up to $200k Google Cloud Credit
$25k-fee free processing on Paystack
One year free Intercom pro subscription and 50% off in year 2
Free AWS Cost Optimisation consultation from Vontech (AWS Partner)
Free Masterclass by Founders Factory Africa
6 months of free PR Services from Reneé PR
Founders Connect Interview Feature
One year of free pro subscription from Simpu
One year of free pro subscription from Distrobird
Workspace Vouchers courtesy LSETF

Who Qualifies?

To stand a chance to be selected, startups must meet all of the criteria listed here.

  • Must have launched the product in the market with demonstrable traction - active use and or revenue.
  • The startup should be designed with the intent to address specific needs, challenges, or opportunities within Africa.
  • This competition is open to startups from any sector or industry to encourage a diverse range of innovative solutions and business models.
  • At least one member of the founding team must be committed to the startup on a full-time basis, ensuring dedicated leadership and drive.
  • Startups must be less than 3 years old & must be a tech-enabled product or service.
  • The founding team must be available to pitch at the semi-final and final stages of the competition in person, in Lagos.

Timeline

April 28, 2024
Application closes
May 14, 2024
Shortlist Top 15 startups
May 23, 2024
Pitch Day, Semi-finals
May 25, 2024
Finale and Winners Announcement

Judges

Dapo Awobokun

Startup Partner, Paystack

Ahunna Ogunedo

Investment Mgr, Founders Factory Africa

Oluwadunni Fanibe

Program Manager, Techstars

Proudly supported by:

FAQs

We tried to answer some of your burning questions

Do all members of the founding team need to attend the in-person pitch events?

No, only at least one member of the founding team needs to be available to pitch at the semi-final and final stages of the competition in Lagos.

How will startups be evaluated and judged?

Startups will be evaluated on factors such as innovation, product-market fit, growth potential, scalability, and the strength of the founding team. The panel of judges will include investors, industry experts, and experienced entrepreneurs.

Can startups from outside of Nigeria apply?

Yes, startups from outside of Nigeria can apply, but they must be designed to address specific needs, challenges, or opportunities within African markets, and if shortlisted, at least one member of the founding team must be available to pitch in person at the semi-finals and finals in Lagos, Nigeria.

Will the startups get any equity investment as part of the prize?

No, the prizes are all non-dilutive, equity-free cash and perks. There is no equity investment provided as part of the challenge.

Partner with us