Ver Angola


Angolan startups will have direct access to the competition final in Macau

The winner of the 'startups' category of the Angola Innovation Summit (AiS) will have a guaranteed place in the final of the 928 Challenge, announced the organization of the competition between the Portuguese-speaking countries and China, in Macau.


Angolan 'startups' will be "closer to other markets, in which they can identify and establish partnerships and, perhaps, attract investment", said the director of AiS, José Bucassa, in a statement released on Thursday.

Most of the 'startups' that competed in the first two editions of the 928 Challenge "with greater added value or that are in a more advanced state normally come from more developed countries", explained to Lusa Marco Duarte Rizzolio, co-founder of the competition for 'startups' and universities.

"It is important for the 928 [Challenge] that all Portuguese-speaking countries" are well represented, said Rizzolio, who is also a professor at the City University of Macau.

The project by a team from the Eduardo Mondlane University, in Mozambique, to produce biogas from waste in poultry farms, in October reached second place in the second edition of the competition.

Venture capital funding to Africa grew 8 percent in 2022 to reach 6.5 billion dollars, while funding globally fell 35 percent, according to a report released on Tuesday by Partech Partners.

Even so, regretted Rizzolio, the Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) "are still far behind the English-speaking markets, such as Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria", but not for lack of quality.

The academic blamed Western investors' lack of knowledge regarding the PALOP, "the language barrier" and the size of the Portuguese-speaking market in Africa.

An alternative, said Rizzolio, is the bet on investors in China, "the second largest market in the world for venture capital funds".

At the end of November, the 928 Challenge organized an 'online' session where six Portuguese 'startups' presented their businesses to venture capital funds in China.

Macau followed the Chinese policy of 'zero covid' until mid-December, with the imposition of restrictions and quarantines on arrival in the territory, something that prevented the finalists of the first two editions of the 928 Challenge from going to the Chinese region to present their projects.

"This has always been the great ambition", underlined Marco Duarte Rizzolio: to allow Portuguese-speaking 'startups' to travel to Macau and "visit other 'startups' and venture capital fund investors".

"It's too early to say whether it will be possible this year. Everything will depend on the budget for this edition", admitted the coordinator of the 928 Challenge.

The contest is jointly organized by the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau) and several universities in Macau and the Greater Bay Area and the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

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