Ethiopia’s startup Lalibela Global-Networks won Web Summit’s 2020 PITCH competition on Friday, which is sponsored by KPMG and took place online this year.
“This award is not for me, it is for all mothers and children in Africa that our solutions have already managed to help save,” said Wuleta Lemma, CEO and founder of Lalibela Global-Networks. “During this Covid-19 pandemic, winning something like this is incredible,” she added.
Lalibela Global-Networks, which has been developing solutions in digital transformation in Africa’s health sector for 20 years, competed against 700 other startups, and digitizes management processes in order to make healthcare more efficient.
Web Summit, Europe’s biggest technology conference, brought up to 100,000 people to the online event this year, and was headlined by speakers including co-founder of Whistleblower Aid, Mark Zaid, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, and Chris Evans, actor and cofounder of A Starting Point.
On Thursday, Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of video conferencing startup Zoom, talked about digital technologies and their impact in the context of the pandemic. Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of foreign affairs and communications, discussed the challenges of managing a social network, and Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, talked about online security and privacy. Other speakers including the European Commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, and the governor of the Bank European Investment Officer, Werner Hoyer.
The startup competition is a highlight of the event, with new companies pitching their projects to potential investors.
Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said in a prerecorded message during the closing ceremony online on Friday that the pandemic had proven that no country can face a global problem alone. He also said he hoped Web Summit would be able to be held in Lisbon next year rather than online.
Web Summit moved from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016 and next year hopes to attract 70,000 attendees to its in-person event in the Portuguese capital next year.