What is the AfroTech Startup Competition?

The AfroTech Startup Competition brings the world’s top black early stage startups together on one stage to compete for the coveted AfroTech Cup, a cash prize, and the attention of media and investors. The judges include Blavity Co-founder Aaron Samuels, YC’s Michael Siebel, 500 Startup’s Monique Woodard, and Kapor Capital’s Brian Dixon. Participation is entirely free and open to all AfroTech startup attendees. Startups must be enrolled in the Startup Track.

How it works:

Preliminary Round:

During Friday’s Startup Track 10 startups will do 5 minute elevator pitches in front of peers and their first set of judges. There will then be a 5 minute Q&A from the judges.

Final Round:  

The Startups will be then narrowed down to 5 who will present on Saturday’s Center Stage in front of the whole AfroTech conference and streamed online. Startups will give a 8-10 minute presentation to the crowd and judges. Winners will be announced shortly afterwards during Saturday’s program.

How to Qualify:

To be eligible, startups must:

  • Be launching to the public for the first time and have little to no prior press exposure
  • Be for profit and should not have raised more than 150k in funding.
  • Have a working prototype that can be demoed

Selection is highly competitive.

AfroTech reviews the applicants and selects the competition contestants based their team, product and market potential. Successful applicants are notified one month before the event.

It’s important to note that AfroTech takes no fees or equity from the startups. Applying and participating in the Startup Competition 100% free to AfroTech attendees.