The African Economic Congress Startup Challenge is an international competition for African startup entrepreneurs from all over the world – organized by AEC in strategic partnerships. Every year, we welcome teams from all over Africa and the world, give them access to a large network of founders, mentors, and experts, and provide a platform to pitch their ideas to judges and investors.

The AEC start-up challenge aims to infuse a philosophy of innovation and nurture technology-led innovations to create jobs and improve livelihoods in Africa. The expected outcome of the competition is to select winning ideas that can lead to new products, programs, projects and processes and to engage young entrepreneurs eager to tackle the challenges they face as well as global challenges through “smart solutions” that transform the economy of Africa and the world.

Here at AEC startup challenge, we guide participants from your first business idea towards your very own company—from idea to enterprise. From the first application round, you will be provided with valuable advice by experienced founders and entrepreneurship professionals and get a chance to participate in an interactive session that introduces you to the most important aspects of founding your own business.

The best ten teams will be paired with a personal mentor to guide them through the last application round and prepare them for their pitch during the final event on the African Economic Congress.

Our 3-day finale takes place on the 4-6 November 2019, where you can take part in entrepreneurial workshops, find inspiration from the finalist pitches, and grow your network with like-minded people.



Submit a short summary of your startup idea and how you plan on being profitable directly on our website. The experienced Innovation Hub will review applications and the most promising ideas will enter the second round. Make sure to watch out for valuable advice/hints on our social media pages. This will help you find your startup idea and make the best out of your application!


Teams that go through to this round will be asked to submit a more detailed executive summary of their business ideas. You will be guided by questions about your startup’s value proposition, pricing and sales strategy, financing plans and your visions for the future. All executive summaries will be evaluated by Innovation hub, Nigeria, who is founder with many years of experience in the startup world.


The best 10 applicants will then enter the final round of the AEC startup challenge. Each team will be provided with a personal mentor who will advise them on their final ACE pitch. The final event will take place on the African Economic Congress (African Economic Congress will support a portion of your travel expenses.).  It will be packed with fascinating talks and workshops given by startup founders and entrepreneurship professionals and motivating startup pitches. Get the opportunity to meet inspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world and network with established accelerators and investors. The final 10 teams have the chance to win boosting prize money as well as several other valuable resources.

Final Event: November 6, 2019, in Abuja (Nigeria)


  1. You can apply as an individual or as a team.
  2. All members of your team who would attend the final event and pitch your idea must be enrolled at Innovation Hub throughout the course of the competition (November 2019).
  3. Business ideas submitted to AECSC should not yet have generated revenue of more than $20,000 p.a.

AEC startup challenge entry is officially over.