APPLY: UK unveils Pathfinder Awards for promising tech startups in Africa

The United Kingdom department for business and trade (DBT) has announced the opening of the Pathfinder Awards for start-up companies across Africa.

In a statement on Monday, the department said startups must specialise in artificial intelligence (AI), connected and automated mobility (CAM) technology, cyber security and digital trade solutions from across Africa.

The department said winners will receive a tailor-made programme to help scale up and build their firm in the country, including industry meetings, very important person (VIP) events, and expert business growth support.

“First announced by the UK’s Business Secretary at London Tech Week in June 2023, it builds on the success of the UK’s Tech Ro,cketship Awards and Global Entrepreneur Programme,” the department said.

The UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is on the hunt to unearth the most promising tech start-up companies across the world through the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards.

“Building on the success of the UK’s Tech Rocketship Awards, UKPA will be the UK’s Department for Business and Trade’s largest global awards for tech start-up companies ever.”

According to the department, start-up companies with global ambitions in the AI, CAM technology, cyber security and digital trade solutions sectors, are eligible to apply for a chance to get into the UK’s burgeoning tech sector.

Speaking on the opening, Dominic Johnson, UK investment minister, said the awards are a fantastic opportunity for tech scale-up companies to join the country’s thriving $1 trillion tech sector.

“The awards are part of our commitment across government to help more businesses scale up, and benefit from our highly skilled workforce and supportive regulatory system,” he said.

The UK already has more unicorns than France and Germany combined, and our country continues to be a place where tech businesses from across the world come to thrive.”

On his part, John Humphrey, trade commissioner for Africa, said the African startup landscape is now in the spotlight as the world focuses on the continent’s know-how and innovation. 

From bustling tech-hubs across the continent from North to South and East to West, young businesses are changing the game by providing innovative solutions to African and global problems, while creating jobs and empowering their communities in the process,” he said.

The launch of the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards across Africa, which offers tech start-ups from across this vibrant continent the opportunity to showcase their innovation and potential on a global scale, while opening up fascinating opportunities for the UK’s already vibrant tech ecosystem, is an exciting journey of growth and success.”


According to the statement, the UK offers limitless prospects, including a highly skilled workforce, a fair regulatory system, and a welcoming corporate environment.

“Winners will receive a tailormade programme in the UK that includes meetings with leading industry and government sector specialists, invites to VIP events and receptions – and expert support from DBT’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which supports ambitious

businesses to scale and grow from a UK global headquarters,” the department said. 

The department said winners would also receive visibility and recognition through promotional activities run by DBT to accelerate their growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *