AfricaIgnited – Delta Scan Wins Africa-leg of Start-Up World Cup

Africa Tech Festival’s pitch competition shows a continent of variety and potential that can compete on the global stage, although start-ups still have much to learn about pitches.

Delta Scan, with its innovative engineering drone-based inspection technology and digital analysis, has walked off with the African leg of the Start-Up World Cup Pitch Competition at Africa Tech Festival that played out in Cape Town this week (14 – 16 November).

“I appreciate the belief the judges have in me, it helps with motivation. We’re on a good trajectory and it helps fuel the fire. We’re looking forward to taking this to the global stage,” said an overwhelmed MD Darryl Epstein.

Epstein was one of eight start-up owners vying for the top prize at Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, which is globally sponsored by Pegasus Tech Ventures.  At the end of November, Epstein will join 49 other entrepreneurs from around the world at the finale in San Francisco, USA.  The grand prize winner at that event, will walk away with $1-million to plough back into their business.

Sawyer Tadano

Sawyer Tadano, Pegasus’s South-East Regional Manager, said: “This was a fantastic event. There was lots of energy and variety in the pitches seeking to solve different types of problems. It was very interesting to see how Africans are solving problems.”

Delta Scan uses drone technology to transform the time-consuming and costly task of gathering information to inspect infrastructure – think bridges, buildings etc – and performing a real-time health check on these assets. “In the engineering world inspections are flawed, and mostly it’s an art of guesswork,” Epstein said.

The drone captures data, which is then used to build a 3D model.  “We can analyse a building in a matter of minutes – which would usually take weeks for an engineering company to complete. The 3D analytical model is so precise it can see an ant on a building,” Epstein said.

Other pitches at the competition included innovative education solutions, mobile money apps, job recruitment and a beauty app and solution from Kenya that connects Beauticians and clients together in a seamless environment that rewards loyalty from all stakeholders.

Judge Zachariah George, of Launch Africa Ventures said: “It was a tough call but we had to make sure the winner could put their business on the global stage.”

Keshni Morar, founder and CEO of Investable, agreed: “It was no easy feat standing here in a room with a strange audience, so well done. We need to get you guys on a global stage for Africa.”

“Investors look for chemistry and that comes from your storytelling.” – Eric Osiakwan of Chanzo Capital

Masterclass in Funding

Earlier in the week, visitors at Africa Tech Festival were given a master class on the dos and don’ts of fundraising.  And surprisingly, establishing a good rapport with potential funders came out as the top tip.

Eric Osiakwan of Chanzo Capital said: “Investors look for chemistry and that comes from your storytelling.  Ask yourself, how do I make a connection with that person which is less transactional? Tell them what you are doing and why you are doing it. After the initial connection, the rest becomes easier. But you must tell your investor something that sticks out and stays in their mind, something unique.”

MD Darryl Epstein

Joining this list of reasons why investors say no, is not having enough information at hand. “Last year I spoke to over 100 start-ups who complained they were just not getting funding. I went on a road show to find out why and investors say they just aren’t getting enough information during pitches. You have one shot in that room to present. There is no harm in, before your pitch, sending an email to see what they require from you,” said Lara Rosman of UVU Accelerate.

Sherif Nessim, of Jedar Capital, says timing is imperative. “You need to know when to start raising funds, what type of equity and value. And don’t raise more than you need. Also consider what amount you want to raise and how much equity you want to give away.”

Start-ups were a big part of the festival this year, with a dedicated zone, triple the size of previous events, given that Africa’s future prosperity is in the entrepreneurial spirit of its people and reliance on them to solve many of the continent’s unique challenges.  2024 is expected to attract even more incredible innovation.

Details on Africa Tech Festival 2024 to be released shortly and further details as to how Delta Scan fares at the Start-Up World Cup will be released beginning of December 2023.

• For more information about Africa Tech Festival, please see website here: Africa Tech Festival 2023 – The Home of AfricaCom & AfricaTech