On January 25, 2018, Startup.Info crowned HydroIQ as the Startup of the Year Africa 2018. This was when the startup magazine was announcing the winners of the competition after the Awards ceremony that took place in Casablanca on the same date.
The awards are organized by Startup magazine Startup.Info with the support of OCP, ENGIE, QWANT, FINANCE INNOVATION, PwC, Labs-NS-Avocats, Holmarcom Group, Royal Air Maroc and Growth Experts.
According to the press release, “more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part and more than 12000 online votes were gathered with over 41 million people reached on social media”.
In the end, Kenya’s HydroIQ emerged the Startup of the Year Africa 2018. Founded in 2017 by Brian Bosire & Victor Shikoli, HydroIQ is a virtual Water Network Operator.
On their website, the startup’s vision is to “build the world’s first Virtual Water Network Operator (VWNO) using disruptive technologies to bring value & visibility to each drop of water.”
Though in this interview, Brian Bosire the CEO of HydroIQ listed Davis & Shirtliff as the biggest water metering solutions provider in Kenya. Hence their biggest competition. But confident that HydroIQ’s automated system can trump Davis & Shirtliff’s manual water reading technologies.
Brian is an alumnus of TechStars Paris and according to their F6S profile, Techstars Paris is an investor in the startup.
— Bertier Luyt (@bertierluyt) January 25, 2018
Other winners at the awards included Ecodome from Morocco which won the Qwant Public Choice Award. The OCP – Agritech Special Prize was won by Grace Agricole De Cote D’Ivoire from Ivory Coast. The ENGIE – Energy Startup of the year award was won by Peachwater Consulting from Nigéria.
The Finance Innovation – Fintech Destination Africa and Roya Air Maroc – Africa Diaspora Award was won by Semoa from France. The Holmarcom Group Special Prize was won by THEA from France) and the PwC – Jury Choice award went to Priyo from South Africa.
Lastly, the community manager of the year award went to Project Alpha from Madagascar.
Uganda’s ThinVoid, founded by Joseph Kaizzi won the very first Startup of the Year Award Africa. Walking away with €5,000. Though, HydroIQ walked away with €10,000.