Two Nigerian drone startups, Upshore Robotics and Global Air Drone Academy have been shortlisted among the 10 finalists of the first African Drone Business Challenge (ADBC) holding in Kigali.
The challenge is a business plan competition for African entrepreneurs initiated by the African Drone Forum (ADF). It’s aim is to uncover new commercial avenues for drone application that demonstrate a high potential for local impact.
The finalists were selected from a pool of about 150 applicants from across 31 African countries by a panel of local and international judges.
The criteria for selection includes the potential for growth and sustainability, focus on using drones for social good, and the economic empowerment of African communities.
Speaking about the startups that made the finals, World Bank Country Manager in Rwanda, Yasser El-Gammal explained that the world bank is proud to help the growth of promising startups.
“The World Bank is proud to support these promising startups as they gain momentum and continue to push their business ideas forward. By participating in the African Drone Forum, entrepreneurs will get exposure to both local and global players within the drone industry,”Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager in Rwanda
Upshore Robotics, a Drone and Analytics platform, is one of the Nigerian finalists. The startup helps farmers detect and mitigate crop disease using aerial photosynthetic sensors enabled by Artificial Intelligence.
They also provide farmers with actionable data to maximise their crop output.
Global Air Drone Academy is an FAA-licensed drone training, education and consultation organizations. It is committed to building the next generation of professional drone pilots.
Other finalists include; Drone Era (Benin), Africa Bees (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kenya Flying Labs (Kenya), MicroMek Limited (Malawi), Integrated Aerial Systems (South Africa), Jembe Kilimo (Tanzania), JCKEG Solutions (Zambia) and Alley Capital Group from Zimbabwe.
The two Nigerian startups will compete with other shortlisted finalists in a live pitching and award ceremony at the African Drone Forum (ADF) in Kigali on Thursday, Feb 6.
They will also participate in a two-day boot camp facilitated by Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU Africa).
The finalists will also have the opportunity to network, exhibit their works and win a share of £40,000 in prize money sponsored by The UK Department for International Development (UKAID/DfID).
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