Thursday, October 6th, marked the end of the adventure of the first promotion of the Challenge + Africa program. The 19 entrepreneurs met during the Start-Up Demo Day, the day that ends a rich year in the stands at HEC Paris, where motivation and ambition punctuated these eight months of training.
Organized at Maison de l’Entreprise in the Plateau district of Abidjan, this event was an opportunity for these participants to present their projects to a large audience that came to watch the Demo Day. Institutions, entrepreneurs and potential investors thus gathered on the 6th of October to celebrate and identify the future offspring of Africa of tomorrow.
Among the personalities present, Françoise Remarck, Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Jean-Christophe Beillard, French Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, but also Stéphane Aka-Anghui, Executive Director of the CGECI, General Confederation of Côte d’Ivoire, and Denis Motte, President of French Tech Abidjan, honored this event. Firstly, they came to find out who learns to dare, to use the business school’s famous motto, they also came to praise a program with recognized success, combining HEC Paris excellence with the best local knowledge.
If the objective of the HEC Start-Up Demo Day was above all for these 19 participants – 15 leaders and 4 co-leaders – to validate the concept of their projects before a jury chaired by Daouda Coulibaly, President of the Alumni, it is in particular for these women and men define contemporary Africa and the future of the continent they desire.
Four startups hit the mark
Whether EdTech, FinTech, companies operating in the aquaculture, IT or energy sectors, the projects carried out by the participants were as diverse as they were varied.
Four start-ups particularly impressed the jury:
Innoving, a management application for small traders managed by Alex Degny, was thus declared the winner of the Demo Day.
Etudesk, a platform that offers e-learning solutions to facilitate the development of skills and developed by Lamine Barro, received the second prize.
Dephi Bank, a cryptocurrency app created by François Hervé and François Caille, received third prize.
Finally, Precious Fabrics, a garment development project based on African fabrics led by Anna Kouama, received the Jury’s Coup de Coeur award.
“This is the first time in Ivory Coast that we have organized an event like the HEC Start-Up Demo Day. The success of this first edition was there. Emulation, ambition and motivation punctuated this day. What great projects have we been introduced to and we wish these experienced entrepreneurs the very best in developing their start-ups,” says Alexis John Ahyee, Managing Director of the West and Central Africa office at HEC Paris.
For Emma Cochrane, Director of Strategic Projects at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at HEC Paris, “The projects we had the opportunity to hear reflect the effervescence of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. Driven by a common objective, that of responding to an identified need through innovation, the 19 participants captivated us, both for their profiles, their origins and their ideas.”
The HEC Start-Up Demo Day was finally the opportunity to welcome the second promotion of the Challenge + Africa program, thus reflecting the lowering of the curtain on the first cohort and on this day. It will be the turn of the 18 participants from various backgrounds, including 16 initiators and 2 co-initiators of projects, to present the pitch during the next Demo Day.
Founded in 1881, HEC Paris is a leading business school in Europe whose ambition is to have a positive impact on business and society thanks to its triple approach “Think, Teach, Act”, and thus contribute to a more inclusive, more sustainable and more prosperous. With 160 professor-researchers from all over the world who produce and teach unique knowledge to more than 4,500 students from 110 countries, the HEC Paris campus asserts itself as a true laboratory for innovation and exchange, open to diversity. challenges. Inspired by its 5 founding values – Excellence, Curiosity, Entrepreneurship, Diversity and Responsibility – HEC Paris offers a full range of training for the decision makers of tomorrow: Grande Ecole program, Specialized Masters, MSc, Summer School, MBA, MBA Executive, TRIUM Global Executive MBA, Doctorate, as well as a wide range of programs for executives and managers.