Home Jobs Opportunities Nairobi Innovation Challenge 2021 for early-stage startups.-Apply Now

Nairobi Innovation Challenge 2021 for early-stage startups.-Apply Now

Nairobi Innovation Challenge 2021 for early-stage startups.-see Full Application Procedures, you are on Australia Minds-Welcome

Application Deadline: DECEMBER 31st 2020

The NIW Innovation Challenge provides the opportunity for early-stage startups to get recognition and be rewarded as the Most Promising Startups of 2021. The NIW Innovation Challenge started in 2017 as the NIWStartups.

Listen to Adan Mohammed of Ecodudu on how participating in the Innovation Challenge has impacted his start up.

The Nairobi Innovation Challenge 2021 will be divided into five categories as shown below.  

FOUR startups will be short-listed under each category, with all TWENTY making 5 minutes pitches at the NIW Startup Summit March 12th 2021.


This category focusses on any startups involved in the any aspect of the manufacturing sector from carrying out manufacturing activities to providing support to manufacturing enterprises


This category seeks startups involved anywhere along the value chain from farm to plate. These could especially focus on post-harvest losses, improved production, access to cheaper inputs, better storage facilities, and so on.


Participation in this category is limited only by your imagination. Housing ranges from the brick and mortar aspects, to financing models of construction and for ownership. 


Are you a startup involved in any part of the health sector? If so this is your category.  This includes software applications, health care products, health services, training in health, among others.


The last category is looking for all other startups that do not belong in any of the above categories, but are cross-cutting in that they could be in support all.  These could include startups involved in FinTech,  transport, the environment, energy, and so on.


  • CASH PRIZES (Details to follow shortly)
  • Solutions Oriented Needs Assessment (SONA) + follow up workshop, courtesy of Afribusiness LLP(Value Ksh 250,000)
  • All awards under all applicants and Top 20 startups
  • CASH PRIZES (Details to follow shortly)
  • One-Day pitching training, courtesy ABSA Bank
  • Two-Day Capacity Building Training, courtesy University of Nairobi and Partners.
  • Solutions Oriented Needs Assessment (SONA) Courtesy of Afribusiness LLP (Value Ksh 50,000)
  • 70% Discount on the cost to Exhibit at the NIW Innovation Exhibition (March 10-12, 2021)
  • All awards under “All Applicants”
  •  Applications Open for Early Stage Startup Registration. This will involve completing an application form as well as preparing and uploading a 1min video pitch off your startup, emphasising what is innovative about your product or service and why you think it will achieve traction in the market. All startups must be legally registered businesses with an annual revenue not exceeding Kshs. 30 million.
  • DECEMBER 31st 2020- Applications Close
  • JANUARY 31st 2021- The TOP 20 startups will be announced.
  • JANUARY 31st 2021- 1 min pitches of Top 20 uploaded on website, and PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS voting begins
  • FEBRUARY 15th-19th, 2021 – A two day capacity building and training session will be organised for the TOP 20 Startups (Exact dates to be determined in consultation with the startups)
  • MARCH 5th 2021 – PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS voting ends
  • MARCH 11th 2021 – Full day pitching training session sponsored and presented by ABSA Bank
  • JUNE 12th 2021- STARTUPS SUMMIT – The Top 20 will pitch during the NIW Startups Conference. Winners will be announced at the end of the day.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Nairobi Innovation Challenge 2021

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