Innovation Salon


Innovation Salon


New at the third edition of the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering will be the NEF Investor Meetup held concurrently with the regular program. The Investor Meetup idea came from discussions with the NEF Community of Scientists around how to make the transition from lab to market. This transition often is not clear cut for scientists. Tech transfer is weak if not nonexistent at most universities. As well, there is a clear disconnect between the thriving startup ecosystem in Africa and academic institutions and research labs.

The objective of this meetup is to support some of the exceptional African science entrepreneurs (Sciencepreneurs) with pitch preparation and investment readiness sessions and thereafter, connect them to investors. These sessions will take the form of a bootcamp and are scheduled to hold before the NEF Global Gatherings in March 2020; the largest science and innovation gatherings on the African continent.

At the end of the bootcamp, the Scientists will gain knowledge of how they create and deliver value, through their solution, to their end-users. In addition, they will have an understanding of funding options, valuations and how to tell a compelling story when pitching their solution to investors.

The underlying goal is to show that successful African science entrepreneurs can demonstrate that, given the right investment and access to training and resources, they can compete on the regional and world stage.

What we are looking for?

1. Sciencepreneurs with ideas/ solutions that fall under the following categories in line with the AfDB High 5s:

  • Integrate Africa
  • Light up & power Africa
  • Feed Africa
  • Industrialize Africa
  • Integrate & improve the quality of life for the people of Africa

2. Adequately researched problem with a clear picture of the target segment it affects

3. The solution should be at the idea stage or MVP stage [proven/tested  scientific solutions]

4. Early-stage companies and scientists interested in commercializing their solution

5. The innovation/ breakthrough idea could be from an individual or an existing company. It must improve on an existing process or be completely new [i.e. hasn’t been done in the Sciencepreneur’s region/in Africa]

Benefits of the NEF Investor Meet Up to Sciencepreneurs

  1. Scientists will gain knowledge of how they create and deliver value
  2. Gain a deep understanding of how to transition from lab to market
  3. Be prepped on pitch preparation & investment readiness
  4. Have an understanding of funding options & valuations
  5. Be connected to investors at the NEF Global Gatherings in Nairobi, Kenya
  6. Pitch your idea for a chance to win $25,000 per category [AfDB High 5s]. Beyond the winning prize per category, startups will be matched with investors for a chance to raise funding.
  7. Receive a free ticket and accommodation to attend the NEF Global Gatherings in Nairobi Kenya in March 2020; the largest science and innovation gatherings on the African continent.

Who is eligible?

  1. Be a  holder of a passport from an African country
  2. Africans/people of African descent living on the continent
  3. Be 42 years of age or less as of 31 December 2019
  4. You are passionate about raising Africa’s profile in STEM globally
  5. You are able to clearly present your work to an audience in English or French
  6. Hold a Bsc/MBA/ PhD in a field of science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or the Social Sciences
  7. Available to travel from March 5 to March 13, 2020

Attend the largest science and innovation gathering on the African continent.