UK’S New Global Tech Awards welcomes applications from African tech startups


Sopuruchi Onwuka

The Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards (UKPA) are now open to start-up companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM) Technology, Cyber Security and Digital Trade Solutions from across Africa.


According to Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer/Communications Lead, Prosperity and Economic Development, Ndidiamaka Eze; 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.

She stated in a media release that winners of the awards are to receive a tailor made programme to help scale up and grow their business in the UK, including industry meetings, 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 Rocketship Awards and Global Entrepreneur Programme.

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.

Start-up companies with ambitions to grow globally in the AI, Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM) Technology, Cyber Security and Digital Trade Solutions sectors are eligible to apply for a chance to pave their way into the UK’s thriving tech sector, valued at $1 trillion.

UK Investment Minister, Dominic Johnson said: “These awards are a fantastic opportunity for tech scale-up companies to join the UK’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. 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.”

His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa John Humphrey said:  “The African startup landscape is now front and centre as the world focuses on African 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.”

“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.”

The UK offers endless opportunities, including a highly skilled workforce, fair regulatory system, and welcoming business environment.

Winners will receive a tailor made 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. They’ll also receive exposure and recognition through promotional activities run by DBT to accelerate their growth.

The Oracle Today reports that the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards (UKPA) were first announced by the UK’s Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch during her keynote speech at London Tech Week 2023.

Applications close on 30th April, and companies can only apply for one category, with one regional winner per category and one overarching category winner.

Submissions will be shortlisted followed by three rounds of pitching, with regional finals, semi-finals with the live finals taking place in the UK in the autumn.


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