Wharton Africa Business Forum New Venture Competition 2021 ($10,000 grand prize)

Wharton Africa Business Forum New Venture Competition 2021 ($10,000 grand prize)

Deadline: September 19, 2021

Applications are invited for the Wharton Africa Business Forum New Venture Competition 2021. The New Venture Competition (NVC) is a pitch competition for early-stage ventures, designed to showcase a new generation of innovators.

The Competition seeks to elevate founders who are creating innovative products, solutions, or services that strategically tackle Africa’s biggest and most urgent challenges. The Wharton Africa Business Forum is the longest-running Africa-focused business conference in the U.S. Since the inaugural Forum in 1992, the conference has welcomed thought leaders, dignitaries, CEOs, visionaries, and young professionals from around the world to discuss important African affairs.


  • Compete for a chance to win up to $10,000 in non-equity financing and network with top founders and investors from across Africa.
  • Semi-finalists will participate in masterclasses aimed at establishing a healthy business.


To be eligible to participate in the NVC, founders must meet the following criteria:

  • Pre-Seed or Seed (business must have raised no more than $150K).
  • Company must have less than 3 years of operation and no more than 50 employees.
  • Business must primarily be serving African market although the business doesn’t have to be domiciled in Africa.
  • Open to all industries.

Judging Criteria

The strength of an application submission will be assessed against the following category areas:

  • Founding Team Experience: Does the current team have the required skills for execution?
  • Product-Market Fit: Is there a demonstrated need or gap in the market that the startup’s solutions solve for? Is the total addressable market substantial enough to make this a lucrative investment opportunity?
  • Market Landscape: What other solutions exist today that also solve for the identified problem? Does the startup have any competitive advantages or moats?
  • Business Model Validation: Has the startup shown any traction? Is there evidence to validate that the current business model can produce attractive returns and is also scalable?
  • Impact: How well does the solution tackle one of the UN’s SDGs


The application is due Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 11:59PM ET and consists of 8 sections:

  • Background: 9 questions
  • Founding Team Experience: 8 questions
  • Product-market Fit: 5 questions
  • Market Landscape: 4 questions
  • Business Model: 7 questions
  • Pitch Deck: 1 question (optional)
  • Recognition: 1 question (optional)
  • 60 second video pitch: 1 question (optional)

Click here to apply

For more information, visit WABF.