A groundbreaking opportunity is on the horizon for Zambian entrepreneurs and startup visionaries as X3M Ideas Zambia announces the X-Pitchathon to empower startups across various industries. The competition will provide entrepreneurs with a unique platform to showcase their ingenious innovations and business concepts while vying for a monumental grand prize worth over USD 50,000.
Scheduled to take centre stage in the vibrant city of Lusaka, the X-Pitchathon beckons local entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses that have advanced beyond the ideation phase to step into the spotlight. The winning business will receive a grand prize worth over USD50,000, including a cash prize of over USD2,000, over USD40,000 worth of marketing, and over USD4,000 worth of business tools, while the Purpose Category – winner gets over USD1,000 in funding.
The parent company, X3M Ideas Nigeria, has changed the Nigerian advertising landscape and grown into the country’s top creative powerhouse as a result. The firm received 18 awards at the 2023 Pitcher Awards, and made history recently by becoming the first Nigerian firm to receive the prestigious Cannes Lions Awards. The firm has since begun operations in Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, and Kenya, with further plans to expand across Africa and the Middle East.
The X-Pitchathon competition represents X3M Ideas’ dedication to illuminate the brilliance of Zambian innovators and equip them with the necessary resources to scale their viable businesses. The competition not only promises substantial funding to accelerate growth but also an invaluable opportunity to connect innovators with industry leaders, potential investors, and fellow trailblazers.
With MSMEs accounting for more than 90% of all businesses in Zambia and contributing to over 80% of the nation’s employment, as well as a growing tech startup ecosystem, organisers say the event will further inspire innovative activities within the nation.
Steve Babaeko, the Founder and CEO of X3M Ideas, emphasises that the competition is more than just about prizes, but also about encouraging the ingenuity among young innovators.
“X-Pitchathon embodies our resolute dedication to cultivating a thriving ecosystem for startups in Zambia. With this competition, we’re not only providing a stage for these brilliant minds to shine but also offering the essential resources they need to turn their visions into reality. We’re delighted that this event will redefine entrepreneurial resilience in the country,” he says.
Recognising the significance of innovation and entrepreneurship in Zambia’s economy, the X-Pitchathon comes as part of X3M Ideas Zambia’s five-year anniversary celebration on August 29th. The initiative, organisers say, is a concrete step towards supporting startups that have been in operation for under five years, channeling their potential into tangible success stories.
“At this event, we will witness firsthand the bubbling entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem dominated by Zambia’s most brilliant minds. We are inspired by this relentless zeal to develop business ideas and embrace innovation to solve problems,” enthuses Adenike Odutola, Managing Director of X3M Ideas Zambia. The competition, she adds, will offer innovators and entrepreneurs a coveted chance to showcase their vision to a distinguished panel of judges and a global audience.
To participate, innovators and entrepreneurs are required to meet specific eligibility criteria, including a minimum of 18 years of age, possession of a functional prototype or minimum viable product (MVP), and submission of essential documentation such as a National ID and PACRA registration. The competition is expected to draw participants from various businesses, from technology to conventional sectors, all united by their determination to revolutionise traditional business models.
Entries for the X-Pitchathon began on August 29, 2023, and will close on September 29, culminating in the final pitch event scheduled for November 1, 2023. A distinguished panel of judges, comprising investors and business leaders, will evaluate the presentations and decide the recipients of the grand prize and the “Purpose Driven Category” funding.
Prospective participants can find further information on http://www.pitchathon.com