Unpacking Adaverse 2023 Demo Day: A Milestone Event For African Web3 Innovators Illuminated by Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson
Adaverse’s 2023 Demo Day, held on September 29th, marked the conclusion of our inaugural Accelerator Program for 2023 and signaled Africa’s readiness to lead in the digital frontier. The event aligns with broader economic forecasts highlighting the need for investment in Africa’s rapidly growing tech sector.
With the continent’s digital economy set to reach $180 billion by 2025 and $712 billion by 2050, multiple factors such as improved internet connectivity, rising urban populations, a burgeoning tech talent pool, and a dynamic startup ecosystem are driving this growth. By investing in and accelerating startups, Adaverse is positioned at the cornerstone of the monumental economic transformation that is underway, contributing substantially to Africa’s future digital landscape.
A Year of Impactful Innovation
Adaverse, an accelerator firm with a robust focus on Web3 and decentralized technologies, sees Africa as an untapped crucible of innovation. Boasting a presence in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, Adaverse’s geographic footprint serves as a nexus that can propel the African Web3 ecosystem onto the global stage.
In a landscape where Cardano is gaining global adoption, Adaverse stands as a Cardano Accelerator, actively encouraging and facilitating innovation on Cardano’s sustainable third-generation blockchain. This not only aligns with Adaverse’s mission but also adds a unique layer to its capacity, allowing it to spearhead groundbreaking projects that contribute to the broader Cardano community and beyond.
Over the past year, Adaverse venture building mission gained considerable traction, reflecting the burgeoning innovation landscape in Africa. Having received nearly 1,000 applications from young startups is a testament not only to the ingenuity sprouting across the continent but also to the confidence that startups have in the program. Out of these applications, the team has provided strategic advice to a myriad of companies, helped fine-tune use cases, and has gone ahead to invest in 40+ exceptional companies including Nestcoin, Afriblocks, Bitmama, BuuPass, Fonbnk, etc. The stream of applications is ceaseless, signaling a sustained period of growth and innovation for Africa’s Web3 ecosystem.
Cohort 1 Success Story
Adaverse’s Cohort 1 accelerator program this year offered an unparalleled platform for Web3 startups. The program featured 20+ hours of specialized 1:1 workshops, led by Adaverse experts and fortified by global partnerships, resourceful collaborations with venture partners, seasoned mentors, serial entrepreneurs and support from EMURGO. The curriculum spanned tokenomics, Cardano bootcamps, and AWS cloud services through $25,000 in AWS Activate Credits. Startups gained insights into Cardano-specific technologies like Haskell and Plutus. This comprehensive approach cemented Adaverse’s position as a global leader in Web3 acceleration.
“The Adaverse Program on a whole was very insightful to partake in. We had tons of weekly sessions with the team to further refine our messaging so it’s pristine and focused. George and Ishan were very hands-on, engaging and thoughtful throughout the entire process. The demo preparation was also very intense but brought out the best in all of us. It was also very good to learn from other businesses and founders in the program.” — Kofi Genfi, co-founder of Mazzuma
Demo Day Highlights
The Demo Day served as a watershed moment for Web3 innovation in Africa, featuring not only an array of startups from Adaverse’s inaugural African Program Cohort but also other companies with great potential in the ecosystem. The event’s significance was amplified by the presence of industry luminary Charles Hoskinson, Founder of Cardano and co-founder of Ethereum.
In his keynote speech, Charles Hoskinson, drew attention to the unparalleled growth and potential of Cardano in Africa, stating. “You never skate to where the puck is, but you go to where the puck will be,” he said, emphasizing that Africa will witness the largest GDP growth over the next 30 years. He noted that the continent will also produce the vast majority of new entrepreneurs, attributing this to the unique convergence of youthful demographics, increasing access to education, and the growing availability of information.
It’s this fertile ground that makes Cardano’s decentralized technologies especially impactful. Hoskinson expressed his excitement about Cardano’s role in empowering Africans to construct high-integrity systems, whether in voting, finance, stock exchanges, or property rights.
The message was clear: Cardano isn’t just a technological tool but a powerful enabler for sustainable development.
Adaverse Founding Partner & Co-CEO of EMURGO Middle East & Africa Shogo Ishida while speaking at the event noted that “The need for transforming financial systems is evident, as traditional models leave over 1 billion people without access to banking services, and Sub-Saharan Africa experiences an inflation rate 2% higher than the global average. Addressing some of these challenges, African startups are exploring blockchain solutions, with Cardano startups, guided by the leadership of Charles Hoskinson and EMURGO Africa , leading the way.”
The Startup Pitches
25 startups with groundbreaking solutions pitched to the array of investors and industry leaders present. These startups can be categorised into different Web3 sectors;
Canza Finance — An Open Finance Portal(non-institutional-based financial system) enabling access to unlimited financial services for emerging markets.
Melanin Kapital — Melanin Kapital is a blockchain wallet that helps African SMEs access affordable capital through climate action by financing their green transition with green loans and rewarding their greening efforts with carbon credits.
Altify (Previously Revix) — Altify is building the go-to alternative investing and saving super app for the EMEA region.
KotaniPay — Kotani Pay offers a technology stack that enables blockchain protocols, dApps, and FinTech companies operating on the blockchain.
Mazzuma GPT — At Mazzuma, we build blockchain infrastructure tools and APIs for developers globally using AI.
Pravica — Peer-to-peer web3 messaging and value transfer infrastructure.
Exchange & Payment
Afriex — A quick, reliable and trusted app to send and receive money anywhere in the world
Bitmama — Bitmama is building cross-border payments onchain to solve, dollar shortages, high remittance fees and delayed payments.
Boundless Pay — A digital banking application for cross-border collections, payments, and settlements.
FonBnk — A bridge to web3 for mobile-first, cash-based economies using prepaid airtime and other mobile-generated payment types as a medium of exchange.
ScaleX — Scalex is an African Web3 infrastructure provider that empowers global adoption by bridging fiat and crypto economies with on-demand stablecoin liquidity and payment rails.
ConsumerFi & Supply Chain Traceability
BuuPass — BuuPass is Kenya’s largest online platform for bus, train, and flight tickets, transforming travel in the country by offering ease and convenience to millions of Kenyan travelers.
Diwala — An all-encompassing SaaS platform that allows individuals and businesses to hold, verify, and issue any digital credential in the world.
Versus Africa — Combining online and offline consumer data to give brands actionable and competitive insight for the African market.
AfriBlocks — A pan-African freelance tech and design talent marketplace.
Chekkit — A technology solution that provide the pharmaceutical & consumer goods industries with serialisation and traceability
Stakefair — Stakefair is a predictions marketplace where players can bet on the outcomes of events such as sports or other real world events to win money.
Diagon Studios — Diagon is gamifying the loyalty experience for Merchants using a no-code Points & Badges Software.
Awujo (Previously Afriguild) — Creating pathways into Web 3 for everyday people through gaming, community and education
Bitsport — BitSport is a gaming ecosystem harnessing web3 technology to incentivize play for gamers globally, leveraging on popular consoles and mobile games.
Jamit — Jamit is an all-in-one Web3 and AI-powered platform that empowers diverse voices through podcasts, audiobooks, and more, revolutionizing how the world discovers and connects with authentic storytelling.
TBTM (Take Back The Mic) — Take Back the Media (TBTM) is the world’s first Media Fintech, turning Culture into Currency by rewarding Fans & Creators for engagement with content.
Momint — A Stock Market for Alternative Assets, Backed by blockchain and smart contracts
Seso Global — A secure real estate marketplace in Africa
These African startups are globally focused with a strong presence across Africa, and major impact in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Gambia, South Africa, and Egypt. They also extend their reach to the US and UK.
“My co-founder and I were delighted to be invited to Adaverse’s demo day. Working on our pitch deck was perhaps the most exciting part of the process. We got to take a more creative approach to telling Jamit’s story and our mission to empower diverse voices and storytellers. Adaverse demo day also exposed us to a variety of web3 founders who are building great products for a new digital market.” — Koromone Asabe-Yobaere Co-Founder of Jamit.
The Demo Day highlighted Adaverse’s long-term commitment to advancing the African tech ecosystem. As the curtain closed on this year’s Demo Day, the spotlight shifted to actionable next steps. Adaverse extends its heartfelt gratitude to the investors who graced the event and encourages those in its expansive network to turn their interest into tangible commitments.
Through fostering innovation, facilitating investment, and focusing on sustainability, Adaverse aims to set a new standard for tech accelerators in Africa. With the stage set and the course charted, this event signifies not an end, but a beginning, as Adaverse’s African Program — Cohort 1 positions itself to lead Africa’s Web3 revolution.
Vincent Li, Adaverse Founding Partner commented on the success of the event, saying “The success of this Demo Day reflects the collaborative efforts of our mentors, investors, and most importantly, the participating startups. We’re not just accelerating businesses; we’re accelerating a global movement,”. While the event marks the conclusion of the inaugural African Program cohort, it also serves as a catalyst for Adaverse and its startups, propelling them into the next chapter of innovation and a continued commitment towards the adoption of Cardano’s tools for Dapp development. “It’s not just about the startups but the inception of a broader movement,” he added.
Adaverse is a Cardano Ecosystem Accelerator and Venture fund, serving as Cardano’s venture wing for MEA and Asia. Adaverse provides a comprehensive range of services, including blockchain advisory, development, and support for early-stage Web3 startups. Since its inception, Adaverse has invested in and accelerated over 45 companies across diverse sectors such as Web3, exchanges, NFTs, gamefi, DeFi, and proptech. Through a potent blend of funds, mentorship, and technological infrastructure, Adaverse aims to scale Web3 solutions globally, drawing upon its international expertise and in-depth local market experience.
Adaverse Official Links
Facebook: Adaverse Accelerator
Startup School: Adaverse Startup School
BuildUp Africa Podcast: BuildUp Africa
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