Space-Tech Innovation Challenge winners announced

The official winners of the 2020 Space-Tech Innovation Earth Observation Challenge have been announced with South African founded Geospatial data science company Hydro Blu scooping first place. 

Space-Tech Innovation Challenge winners announced

By Ishani Chetty

Hydro Blu secured first place in the prestigious awards

Hosted by multiple partners include the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and ZA Space Ince, the Space-Tech Innovation Challenge aims to develop early-stage tech start-ups that utilise downstream applications of space technology African in the agriculture, insurance, retail and sustainability, and conservation industries. 

Launched in September 2021, a total of 25 finalists were selected from across Africa and participated in a two-week virtual business development training programme. The programme provided participants with the opportunity to strengthen their business solutions. 

The winners

Finalists were selected after a rigorous virtual Space-Tech challenge pitching den finale. During the final challenge, three winners were selected by a panel of expert judges. 

First place was awarded to  Hydro Blu, a geospatial data science company. Founded by Joash Kisten, Hydro Blu focuses on increasing the accessibility to drinkable water supply in vulnerable and remote regions through data-driven decision making. As the overall winner of the challenge, Hydro Blu was awarded a SecureWatch Premium 5GB valid for three months to the value of $12 500.

Founded by Jabu Madlala, Smart AgriIoT is a cloud-based digitisation and farm management platform Smart AgrIoT that provides accurate fertilizer and watering recommendations. The innovative tech company scooped up second place at the prestigious awards. 

Two tech companies tied for third place HeHe, a Rwanda based company and Nigerian agritech business, FieldDev.

HeHe is a post-harvest platform that forecasts supply and consumer data to predict demand to allocate logistics resources by using remote sensing technology along with 

FieldDev is an agribusiness-focused geographic information system (GIS) mapping provider that manages and maps data of smallholder farmers’ and transforms them into virtual geo-clusters through geospatial analysis.

Both second and third place were awarded a SecureWatch Premium 2GB valid for three months to the value of $5,000  

Each of the winners will be provided a four-month online incubation and virtual mentorship, and ongoing access to a peer-to-peer network through the TechTribe Accelerator.

The future of the Space-Tech challenge

In the next round, the challenge will include entries across the value chain and aims to strengthen Africa’s geospatial readiness. The challenge will further connect space-tech companies with relevant 

stakeholders, government agencies, and commercial organisations to shine the light on the impact space technology could have on the future of Africa.  

Originally published at Venture burn