Q- Hello Kossi, you’re known as a tireless promoter of startup culture. What else can you tell us about you?
My training is in software engineering. But I’m also the founder and president of Startup.info, which helps large companies and institutions with their online presence and detecting startups that get involved in their integration programs.
In 2011, we launched an online collaborative magazine about startups and innovation. And we are pleased that Startup.Info is currently the leading French collaboration platform for startups, with more than 100,000 readers per month.
Q- Why did you launch the Startup Of The Year Africa competition?
Startup Of The Year is an innovative competition created by Startup.info with the support of over 70 partners including ENGIE (and other large companies, incubators, chambers of commerce, media, competitiveness clusters, influential blogs, etc.). Its goal is to highlight the most innovative startups and promote our partners’ activities within the innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem.
After two successful experiences with French startups, we decided jointly with our partners to also look at the African pool of entrepreneurs, which is full of beautiful initiatives. That’s how we got more than 500 applications from 44 countries during the first edition of Startup of the Year Africa in just 4 weeks.
Q- What is your view of African startups?
Frugal, agile, resilient, circular... they haven’t finished surprising us. Their ability to innovate against all odds is simply remarkable. No wonder big multinationals, including the GAFA set (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) are now interested in this part of the world, not only for their growing markets but also for the creativity of their entrepreneurs.
Q- What do your partners like ENGIE contribute?
Nothing would have been possible without their support. For example, energy was the 4th most highly represented sector of activity during the first edition of the Startup of the Year Africa competition. The fact that ENGIE and other partners were there was decisive for making the competition a success, not only for helping to organize it, but also and especially by assisting and providing advice to the winners.
Q- The startup registration phase finished on December 17th, and the general public can now vote for their favorite startup through December 29th. What happens after that?
We already have more than 5000 votes for the 558 participating startups and it’s just the beginning!
Prizes will be awarded in Casablanca on January 24th and 25th.
Feel free to vote for your favorite startup and support a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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