In a bid to recognise and support promising tech startups from emerging markets, inDrive, a prominent global mobility and urban services provider, has unveiled the “Underdog Tech Award.” This international accolade aims to celebrate and reward the tenacity of entrepreneurs who have successfully launched tech startups despite encountering significant challenges tied to their geographic locations.
The inaugural edition of the Underdog Tech Award is poised to make a significant impact in Kenya, a nation increasingly hailed as an innovation hub within the East African region. This initiative underscores Kenya’s pivotal role in nurturing groundbreaking technologies and its commitment to lead innovation efforts on the continent.
The Underdog Tech Award has been strategically designed to champion technology startups confronting obstacles like limited resources, lack of access to funding, and exclusion from major startup ecosystems in regions such as the United States, Israel, and Europe. The award seeks to identify startups with the potential to bring about positive change within their communities and exhibit strong growth prospects.
The application phase for the Underdog Tech Award commenced on September 19 and will run until December 1, 2023. During this period, startups from Kenya and other regions worldwide are encouraged to submit their applications for consideration.
In the subsequent stage, which is slated to commence in December 2023, the award organizers will shortlist the nominees and identify the top 20 candidates.
Notably, Kenya is represented in the jury for the Underdog Tech Award, with Fatma Nasujo, the Global Head of Corporate Operations for Wasoko, playing a key role in the selection process.
Mark Loughran, Group President of inDrive, emphasized the company’s commitment to fostering global equality of access to resources that facilitate development and achievement. He highlighted inDrive’s existing initiatives, such as the Aurora Tech Award for women in IT, as evidence of their dedication to supporting those who require assistance.
Loughran expressed inDrive’s enthusiasm for the new award, stating, “Now we have organized an award for ‘underdogs.’ We at inDrive are still underdogs, and proud of it. We aim to support innovative startups that make the world better. And we are thrilled to provide them with the platform and financial support needed for their growth and development.”
The Underdog Tech Award offers not only recognition but also a substantial monetary reward, with a prize fund totaling $60,000 for the winner. Additionally, all startups submitting applications will receive valuable feedback from various venture and investment funds, further aiding their development. Shortlisted candidates will benefit from feedback provided by the award’s jury, PR support, and the opportunity to undergo training conducted by industry experts.
In conclusion, the Underdog Tech Award by inDrive is set to provide a valuable boost to technology startups that have persevered despite formidable challenges related to their geographic location. With its focus on global equality and support for innovation, the award stands to make a significant impact in Kenya and other emerging markets worldwide. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to seize this opportunity and submit their applications for a chance to be recognized and supported on their journey to success.