The Africa Business Club at Harvard Business School will be hosting the Africa Business Conference New Venture Competition on March 2, 2018 in Boston, MA. Applications open online on November 20th and close December 15th, 2017.

The 20th Africa Business Conference will be held in Boston, MA from March 2nd to March 3rd, 2018 under the theme “Values And Value-Chains: Africa In A New Global Era". As part of the conference, the New Venture Competition will showcase the diversity of entrepreneurs making a difference on the continent today. 

From the pool of applications, 10 finalists will be invited to pitch their business in front of approximately 700 attendees and receive feedback from a panel of experienced judges. The competition winner and runner-up will be awarded cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

 The finalists will have the opportunity to participate in the Startup Lab, a workshop for early-stage entrepreneurs to solicit advice from conference participants. Conference participants and Harvard Business School faculty and students with experience in strategy, operations, finance, and other relevant business fields will be recruited to engage with the entrepreneurs and help them ideate and solve their problems. 

20 ventures will also have the opportunity to showcase their companies in the Startup Fair networking and recruiting event and attend networking lunches with distinguished panelists. 

The application form will be open from November 20th 2017 – Dec 15th 2017. All applications must be received by December 15th, at 5pm EST. Please apply via one of the below options:

  1. To submit your application via pdf, please download the form here and submit it to .
  2. To submit your application via Google Forms, please click the "APPLY HERE" button below or visit here

 Please feel free to contact us at for any questions or clarifications.


 The competition is open to all entrepreneurs with businesses that resonate with the theme of innovation and disruption. Entrepreneurs who offer unique and homegrown solutions to local problems and who meet the following eligibility criteria are highly encouraged to apply:

·       Early Stage Startups (for profit or not-for-profit)

·       Africa-focused with a majority or all of its operations in Africa

·       Less than 50 employees

·       Less than 5 years of operations

·       Raised less than $250,000 in funding to date


The Competition is about assessing the commercial merit and potential viability of each proposed new venture. The judges will evaluate its potential for economic success and the likelihood of achieving that success based upon the team's plan, experience, and the validation of key assumptions and a clear and convincing presentation of the following:

Naturally, the more concrete the plan - all else being equal - the better. Teams that have a proven technology, recruited partners, or even attracted "beta" customers may raise their chances of success. On the other hand, strong early stage ideas that have yet to be launched but have been thought through and tested will be well received and considered based on their potential and the team's ability to execute. The learning experience and process of defining a strong idea and business model, testing one's assumptions, and making a compelling pitch about the viability of a new venture will be invaluable for everyone, no matter what the outcome.