b rning heroes

Africa awards

early stage startups
market fit
Product design

Take part in the top 2023 startup event! Get public recognition for your early-stage startup, find investors and advisors.



Burning Heroes is the first startup awards created by founders for founders! Our mission is to help African early-stage startups reveal their potential.

We know how hard it is to start from scratch: idea validation, team building, seeking market fit, go-to-market strategy, wait lists, early adopters’ community... it’s tough. This is why we want to network with the best teams and share our experience.

Apply now to get the chance to be noticed by top advisers and investors and to join our Burning Heroes community!

for whom

Campus-based startups

Are you a group of talented students? Have you researched the market and discovered something new, unusual, and interesting? Do you want to know how to implement a new scientific result for business?
‍Take the next step to make your project come to life with Burning Heroes!

Pre-seed startups with market validation and product prototype

Do you have an idea that you've worked hard on? Do you have confirmation from your early adopters? Have you developed your MVP or prototype?
‍Find your first VC investor and top advisors with Burning Heroes!

Seed startups

Did you raise initial funding and confirm your hypothesis and fell into the trap of a failing market? Are you wondering how to continue handling or growing your business?
‍Open the door to new opportunities with Burning Heroes!


Market fit


—Market Size
—Market Validation
—Business Model



High-Tech/ Innovations


—Knowledge Intensity



Product Design






until  JAN 15, 2023

Apply for the competition as a startup founder.
Include your pitch deck, tell us about your strengths, what problems you’ve solved and what difficulties you were able to overcome.

0 days left

JAN 20, 2023

We carefully study and evaluate your pitch decks and select the best startups in the nominations. Top 30 startups will get invitations to Online Pitch.

JAN 27—28, 2023

Online Pitch sessions in front of the Burning Heroes jury.

FEB 1, 2023

The announcement of the TOP 3 startups in the following categories: Product Design, High-Tech/ Innovations, and Market Fit.

If you weren’t selected for the top 3, don’t worry. You will still get valuable feedback on how to improve your project and pitch

0 days left

What  you  get

Top-accelerators' feedback

Free personal advising session with experts from the jury

Warm access to VCs

Media featuring

Personal pricing and promo codes from our partners

Membership in our closed community


CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

CEO Stokker app, ex Apple

Head of Sales MiddleEast & Africa, Meta

Startup Business Development, AWS South Africa

Accelerator Director, Starta VC

Head of Ecosystem Programs, Flat6Labs

Principal, Savant VC

Founder & Chairman, IDEAX Ventures

Investor Relations Manager, The Delta

CEO, OnePay S.A (SisPay)


Co-Founder & CEO, Stokker

Co-Founder, Africa: The Big Deal

General Partner, Savant VC

Head of Hatchery Cape Town

Investor Relations and Research Lead, VC4A

Managing Director, C3: Companies Creating Change

Ecosystem Development Manager, Founder & CEO Connected Dot Labs

Founder & CEO, Impact Rooms

Founder & CEO, Ekocab & Fund The Gap

Partnerships and Ecosystem Manager, Katapult VC

Founder & CEO, Pranary

Media & Ecosystem Lead, Africarena

CEO, Zen Consortium

CEO & Co-Founder, CodeLn

Founder & CEO, Boundless Nexus Ltd.

CEO, Nabda.tn

Co-Founder, BuuPass Inc.

‍Savant VC

Founder & CEO, Hito

Founder & CEO, Circle +

CBDO Travel&Hospitality, ECOMMPAY

CTO & Founder, Qase.io

Head of Product, Gainy.app

Co-Founder & CPO, Levelty App

Founder, DreamTim


Head of Programmes, Naspers Labs


Program Manager for Africa, Burning Heroes StartUps Awards .

Judges’ Work


A curated list of the public APIs


A curated list of the public APIs


A curated list of the public APIs

join the competition

Applications are closed. Stay tuned for updates.

Have questions?
Get in touch!

We will get in touch by your email within 48h with a confirmation that your application has been accepted. We may also ask for an additional info.


Can any startup participate, regardless of the type of activity?

Yes, any startup can take part in the contest from any field of activity. Whether high-tech innovation, IT, or production, we welcome projects that are ready to present themselves to the world.

Which countries are allowed to participate in the startup contest?

Appplication is open to any early stage start-up operating in an African Country.

Do I have to pay to participate in this contest?

No, participation in our contest is free! We do not take any additional financial contributions from our competitors.

What will the participation in this contest give me?

Each participant in the contest will receive the ability to be seen. Top 30 startups will get valuable feedback from top VCs,  accelerators, and experts from TOP companies. Winners will get 3 free individual consultations with an expert among the jury members, access to a closed community, personal offers and discounts from our partners, as well as mentions in the media!

If my company is not registered yet, can I still participate?

Yes, any project can participate in the contest. The existence of a company is not a must.

If my pitch deck is raw or under-developed and I know I won't win, should I still participate?

We recommend applying even if you are not confident in your deck. We pay much more attention to your ability to grow based on the market fit, product design, and the technology you are leveraging. If we can see this we will help you to improve your pitch and materials.

Will there be certificates, diplomas, or marks for participants and winners?

In addition to the experience, each participant will receive a unique diploma that states you took part in our startup contest. Winners will also receive an electronic badge that can be put on their website or mobile application as a sign of distinction for successfully passing our difficult but certainly interesting startup contest!