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In developing and sustaining the entrepreneurial activities in African Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), the African German Entrepreneurship Academy (AGEA) initiative works hand in hand with committed academic and corporate partners in Africa and Germany to promote practice-oriented entrepreneurship and start-ups in Africa. The AGEA Business Idea Competition was established as one of the main initiatives to facilitate the establishment of start-ups as a university or research-based spinoffs.

As done in the previous versions, innovative research outcomes from HEIs are explored and developed into viable products and services to be introduced into the market. The 2022 edition of the AGEA Business Idea Competition is expected to begin on June 1st, 2022 when the application portal opens. The competition targets university professors, lecturers, master’s students, Ph.D. candidates, and alumni as entrepreneurs to transform their scientific research into start-up businesses.

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In many African countries, entrepreneurship is an important facet of development and growth, given the high percentage of unemployment. The universities have a role to play in providing an entrepreneurial education for students and graduates but also becoming an avenue for churning out research-based start-ups, also called spin-offs. However, most HEIs are unable to commercialize research outcomes. As research pinpoints the importance of commercializing knowledge from academia, the community of HEIs is allowed to reveal their entrepreneurial abilities by building start-ups that provide sustainable solutions to pressing challenges in all sectors of an economy. The AGEA Business Idea Competition continues to be a perfect opportunity to contribute to changing the narrative to ensure that novel knowledge and technological innovations are no longer shelved.

The business idea competition aims to increase the skills development in founding a business and following up with other resources to ensure increased entrepreneurial activities within the scientific research community at African HEIs. The expected result of the business idea competition is to enhance the skills of participants in developing innovative business models from research results. Past editions of the ABIC witnessed several success stories as participants received tailored coaching sessions from experts, cash prizes, and other resources before, during, and after the competition. For more information: AGEA Start-up Class 2022

The focus sectors include but are not limited to health, education, agriculture, information technology, finance, climate, environment, biodiversity, enterprise development, trade, transport, water, and sanitation, among others. Applicants should be mindful that the submitted ideas suggest innovative and sustainable solutions to real-world problems that satisfy Africa’s market needs. Early-stage university alumni entrepreneurs can also participate in the competition as team members with students or researchers.

For participants, the AGEA Business Idea Competition 2022 will comprise three phases - the submission, the pitch development, and the finale.  The final event of this year’s ABIC will be spectacular as it will be hosted in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary celebration of the SEPT Competence Center at Leipzig University on 20 September. The event will host in-person and virtual guests from partner universities, researchers, alumni, professors, students, and other stakeholders. As preparations for the ABIC are underway, keep your eye on our website as the call for registrations and submissions will soon be opened.

Learn more about AGEA and our training offer here: News & Events - AGEA (