EVENTS | Start-up Pitch @ German African Business Forum NRW


Start-Up Pitch @ the German-African Economic Forum NRW

Six tech start-ups, supported by Make-IT, presented their business models in front of 300 company representatives at the German-African Economic Forum NRW (GABF) on the 27th of February in Dortmund. The event was organized by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dortmund. The Forum brought together more that 350 companies, 15 diplomats, as well as German and African policy makers. The aim of the forum was to further promote economic ties between Germany and Africa, to improve the African ecosystem and to help spur private investment in African countries.

The forum’s keynote guest was HE Nana Akufo-addo, President of Ghana, who spoke on his vision of developing African economies with a strong middle-class and promoting mutually beneficial ties between Germany and Ghana. The Ghanaian President was in Germany for a state-level visit, which included working with Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues related to the G20 Compact with Africa, economic cooperation, migration, as well as other international issues.

The forum consisted of several panel discussions on the key sectors of Africa. The main target sectores were

  • infrastructure and construction;
  • renewable energies,
  • environmental technology and water management;
  • mechanical and plant engineering,
  • and the digital economy.

One highlight was the ‘Make-IT in Africa: Start-up Pitch’ of the six entrepreneurs. Each of the start-ups – namely SnooCode, Gjenge Enterprises, Track Your Build, AgroCenta, Equatorial Energies and BRCK – had 5 minutes to present their business model to the audience and to attract their attention. In return, the audience supported the start-ups by voting for the best pitch. For that, they had to put their business cards in the box labeled with the name of the start-up they prefered. The one, who was able to collect most business cards from the audience won a ticket and travel costs to CEBIT 2018, the biggest international fair for ICT companies worlwide.

The pitch was won by Gjenge Enterprises and AgroCenta, after they received the same amount of buiness cards!

All six start-ups are prime examples of young, innovative and dynamic African entrepreneurship. With their often surprising approaches, they encountered great interest from the professional audience and had the chance to acquire valuable business contacts.

Besides the Start-Up Pitch Make-IT was prominent at the panel and discussion “Digital Economy Best Practice Inputs” in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Dr. Philipp Fürst (IBM – Senior Client Representative) and Make-IT partner GreenTec Capital, represented by Karl Rheinberger (Head of Investor Relations) spoke on investment opportunities in the African start-up tech segment. They highlighted how the African Ecosystem is supported by Initiatives like ‘Make-IT’ and the different contributions by its members. The discussion stated also how African start-ups differ by creating markets through their innovations, rather than disrupting existing ones, and the hand-in-hand relationship between impact and locally developed solutions. The panel produced lively and informative discussions.

Photos taken by Dr. Berthold Volberg & Jonas Schug

Selected African Start-ups



Equatorial Energies

Gjenge Makers


Track Your Build

Implementing Partners