TechInAfrica – As the winner of the inaugural Africa Netpreneur Prize, a health tech startup hailing from Nigeria called LifeBank has been rewarded with a $250,000 prize, as reported by South China Morning Post and Kenyan tech publication Tech Moran. The prize was part of Alibaba Group’s founder and former executive chairman, Jack Ma, initiative in supporting the growth of small businesses to grassroots innovation and the women founders. The prize includes $10 million in rewards to 100 African entrepreneurs for the next 10 years.
With the initiative, the Jack Ma Foundation will host an annual pitch competition each year, which will select 10 finalists that pitch their business ideas, showcasing their potential in the process, and earn the $1 million prize in the end, all across the continent.
Founded in 2016 by Temie Tubosun, LifeBank delivers blood and other essential medical supplies to hospitals. The startup receives the award on Saturday (16/11) in the initiative’s inaugural pitching competition on the vent held in Accra, Ghana. The founder also receives the award for Africa Business Hero Award. According to the startup’s official website, the progress they made have so far reached 889 hospitals, with 5812 lives saved, 17,753 products delivered, and 5610 donors.
The other seven finalists receive a prize of $65,000 respectively, which are consisted of Mumm, Thrive Agric, J-Palm, Uzuri K&Y, Black Swan, DrugStoc, and Afrikrea. In the second and third places are respectively Nawah-Scientific based in Egypt, with Rwanda’s Water Access. The Egypt startup received $150,000, while Water Access earn the $100,000 mark.
The winners were selected with the panel of judges that included Ma, Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai, Econet Group founder and executive chairman Strive Masiyiwa and The Chair Centre Group founder and CEO as well as First Bank of Nigeria chairman Ibukun Awosika.