Nigeria’s LifeBank wins $250,000 from a Jack Ma Foundation initiative

by | Nov 17, 2019

In Accra, Ghana on Saturday, at the inaugural grand finale of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), 10 African startups competed for $1 million in total grant prize money.

By the end of the night, Nigerian medical logistics startup, LifeBank emerged the top startup, as founder and CEO, Temie Giwa-Tubosun was crowned ‘Africa Business Hero’.

LifeBank was awarded a $250,000 cut of the total $1m grant prize. First and second runner-up startups, Nawah Scientific — an Egyptian-based private research centre — and safe water micro-grid provider, Water Access Rwanda took home $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.

The seven other finalist startups each got a share of the remaining $500,000 prize money. They are:
  • Thrive Agric (Nigeria), an agricultural technology-enabled company that works with smallholder farmers to enable them with greater access to finance.
  • DrugStoc (Nigeria), a cloud-based pharmaceutical IT and logistics platform focused on eliminating counterfeit drugs and expanding access to pharmaceutical products.
  • Black Swan Tech Ltd (Nigeria), which built WeMUNIZE, an automated scheduling, GPS-enabled SaaS to increase birth registration and early childhood immunisations
  • UZURI K&Y (Rwanda), an African-inspired eco-friendly shoe brand established by two women entrepreneurs in Rwanda.
  • J-Palm Liberia (Liberia), which is working create income-earning and employment opportunities through sustainable palm oil production.
  • (Ivory Coast), a ‘Made of Africa’ fashion, art and handicraft online marketplace .
  • Mumm (Egypt), a virtual cafeteria for businesses and online marketplace for home-based entrepreneurial cooks.
All ten startups pitched to a panel of four judges
africa netpreneur 2019 judges

Panel of Judges (L-R): Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman, Econet Wireless; Jack Ma, founder, Alibaba Group; Ibukun Awosika, chairperson, First Bank of Nigeria; Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman, Alibaba Group

The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is Jack Ma’s flagship entrepreneur programme in Africa, led by the Jack Ma Foundation.

Jack Ma set up the ANPI following his first visit to Africa in 2017 where he was reportedly inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.

Earlier this week, Jack Ma was in Abuja, Nigeria to attend the Nigeria Digital Economy Summit. There, he charged the Nigerian government to build ‘e-frastructure’ to get every Nigerian on the internet.


The ultimate goal of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative is to award $10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs, across all sectors and age groups, over the next 10 years. You can find out more about the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative on the official website.

Featured Image sourced from CGTN Africa.

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