The Africa Prize For Engineering Innovation

The Royal Academy of Engineering is a professional fellowship, which represents the United Kingdom’s best practising engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Its fellows include design leaders James Dyson and Sir Ove Arup, radar pioneer Sir George MacFarlane, and Sir Maurice Wilkes, father of the UK computer industry.

The Africa Prize marked a shift from UK-centered support to on-the-ground support across Sub-Saharan Africa. Source Institiute worked with the Royal Academy, delivering the entire program.

By the second year, we were supporting our innovators to acheive 2-3X growth, addressing multiple national markets and getting international recognition from the likes of the BBC World Service.

The challenge

Design and deliver a full 6-month training programme, to address the needs of 15 early-stage engineering startups in a range of markets, stages and technologies.

How can we design and deliver a programme that helps African engineers launch in African markets, founder mindset, marketing channels, funding options and research methods all needed to be addressed on local terms?

What we do with The Royal Academy Of Engineering

For 3 years, since the start, we’ve delivered all entrepreneur-support aspects of the Africa Prize. Only selection, judging and PR fall outside of our responsibility. Each year, we support 15 African entrepreneurs, aiming to create an inflection point in their growth.

We blend principles from internet startups and African tech companies, creating new workshops with Africa-specific perspectives on product design and business models. The program covers business fundamentals from an African tech perspective, and highly-targeted peer-support and peer-education components, which are augmented by including mentors and role models with relevant go-to-market experience.

#Peer-Support And Training
Our best trainers and facilitators from Europe and Africa deliver two intensive weeks of training in Ghana, South Africa and Kenya, connected by ongoing remote support. This training included experiential workshops but emphasised facilitated peer-support, allowing the strengths of each entrepreneur on the shortlist to help others.


These were combined with community events, and Source-run u, to draw in support and build relationships. The programme connects our startups to the heart of African startup ecosystems through regional leaders like MEST and iHub.

Learn more

Source Institute has delivered the full Africa Prize support and education programme since it’s launch in 2014, and continues to deliver and improve upon it.

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