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Think you’re a unicorn? This contest may be for you

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The application deadline for this year’s Unicorn Battle Africa, part of an international start-up pitch contest, is January 8.

The event aims to attract ‘outstanding’ start-ups, according to its website, investors looking for future unicorns and corporations looking for a solution to give them a competitive advantage. A unicorn is meant to describe an extremely successful privately held startup company with a valuation of over $1 billion.

The preliminary Africa round of the competition will take place on January 14. Preliminary rounds will also be held in Silicon Valley, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Latin America in January and February.

The winner of Unicorn Battle Africa will represent the continent at the global Unicorn Cup final on February 18. There is no charge to enter the Unicorn Battle and participants will have the chance to present their solution to an international investment audience and receive guidance from VC professionals.

Winners will receive a share of $120 million in funding.

Unlocking potential

Claiming to be the world’s largest start-up pitch competition, the Unicorn Cup will bring together 500 start-ups and 250 VCs and angel investors from around the world.

The winner of last year’s Africa preliminary was clinicPESA from Uganda, which provides healthcare finance through mobile savings and loans to low-income earners. The digital platform leverages the growing popularity of mobile money services on the continent. clinicPESA is available via web app, USSD and on Android. The platform has over 220 healthcare partners, including Uganda’s health ministry. clinicPESA has also partnered with MTN using mobile money transaction data (banking, airtime and data purchases, bill payments) to build users’ credit scores.

Start-ups can register for the Unicorn Battle here.

To join the event as a guest, register on the Unicorn Battle page.

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