Barclays Africa Group Ltd (Barclays Africa) launched the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge as part of an initiative being driven into Africa with the aim of sparking ideas to drive the digital evolution on the African continent, a challenge relevant to any industry, be it textiles, mining, finance, food, water or more.
There was a $10 000 prize that was to be awarded to the overall winner and one member from each finalist team was invited to pitch to a panel of renowned experts in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 November 2015.
Barclays has partnered and collaborated with innovators and entrepreneurs who drive disruption of traditional financial services providers, thereby plugging start-ups, corporates and innovators into a physical and digital global network with the aim of co-innovating the ‘next big thing’ in financial services.
During the challenge, Kenyan startup Markit Opportunity that seeks to provide farmers with accurate information for fair trade emerged top as the challenge sets tone of what others should expect from the long banking giant.
The winner, Markit Opportunity was pitted alongside three other Kenyan startups and one from Nigeria. The winner pocketed US $10,000 US dollars and the runner-up, Freshmart App for Provenance took home $5000.
The judges during this challenge included Erik Hersman, the co-founder of Kenya’s iHub and Chief Executive Officer of BRCK; CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and the Bandwidth Barn Ian Merrington; Chief Design and Digital officer at Barclays and creator of the Barclays accelerator program Derek White; and Teju Ajani, regional content partnerships lead for Sub-Saharan Africa at YouTube among others.