Kenyan start-ups are set to square it out with their African peers for the opportunity to win USD10,000 (Ksh1 million) investment after the social media giant on Wednesday unveiled Pitch Up in The Sky – an elevator pitching event where the entrepreneur who impresses judges the most with their short and entertaining TikTok video submission wins the cash prize.
The event launched in partnership with The Gritti Fund, the world’s first purpose-driven and happiness-focused investment vehicle will also see the winner secure one-year mentorship from the Fund. In addition, three finalists will be awarded the chance to skydive in Dubai while completing their winning elevator pitches.
Contestants must use Tiktok’s editing tools while submissions will be made via the Pitch in The Sky website.
The idea behind the elevator pitch is to gauge entrepreneurs who can overcome their fears and stay cool under pressure.
An expert panel will judge entries and give exclusive personal interviews throughout the event about the challenges that lead to their success.
It will feature world-famous entrepreneurs and venture capitalists including Mitch Lowe -The Founding Executive of Netflix, Bill Tai- The First Investor in Zoom, and Lars Rasmussen -The Inventor of Google Maps.
The finale on October 17 aims to be the most live-streamed start-up pitch event in history and will enable millions of TikTok viewers to discover who has what it takes to reach the top.
The competition is open to all founders of early-stage start-ups in Africa and the Middle East until September 24, 2020.
Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa says that it has always been TikTok’s mission to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users and the launch of such a unique event is testament to that.
“Through this event, we aim to support our local community of budding entrepreneurs by providing them with the opportunity to creatively express their ideas with the possibility that those ideas may materialize,” said Sidwaba in a statement.
Marcel Muenster, a serial entrepreneur and Founder of The Gritti Fund, added that the partnership with TikTok not only provides locals with access to a network of experienced entrepreneurs but also a global platform on which they can share their ideas.
“Growing your network is one thing, but TikTok does something more valuable – it gives entrepreneurs an unprecedented amount of visibility which is crucial at an early stage of the company building process,” said Mr. Muenster.
As part of the initiative, local TikTok users will be able to view the pitches tagged #PitchUpInTheSky as well as interviews with the judging panel of world-famous entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, giving entrants and TikTok users insight on their personal challenges and successes.