Open Mic Africa
Launched in 2017, Open Mic Africa (OMA) is a Pan-African tour organized to find and showcase the continent’s top innovators while developing a dialogue among local entrepreneurs, investors, and MIT mentors.
OMA summits and meetups include inspirational talks from successful African entrepreneurs, workshops, networking, mentoring, and in some cases, “open pitch” competitions where participants could win up to US$2,500. The OMA tour represents a strategic pathway allowing African entrepreneurs to access cash prizes, mentoring, networking and media visibility. It also serves to promote the Center’s mission and activities abroad, such as the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion.
OMA 2018 Summit (Nairobi, Kenya) – The summit was held at Strathmore University in Nairobi on August 29, 2018. The OMA Summit served as an engagement platform for the MIT alumni community, previous Zambezi winners and finalists, and the broader African entrepreneurship community. 150 guests attended the OMA Summit which included a VIP reception, a hackathon, vision talks, fireside chats, and the award ceremony for the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion. The Summit also featured mentoring sessions, wherein all Zambezi Prize finalists and IIC-Africa finalists (19 ventures total) had 3-5 consultations MIT experts and previous Zambezi Prize finalists (17 mentors total).
OMA Meetup – Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) – co-produced in collaboration with ESTEL Business School, Dakar Open Campus and Impact Dakar. The event was attended by over 300 participants, including students, entrepreneurs and financial executives.
OMA Meetup – Diaspora (Paris, France) – took place during the Viva Technology global event which drew over 100,000 attendees, 9,000 startups, 1,900 investors and 1,900 journalists.
OMA Meetup – Nairobi (Nairobi, Kenya) – attended by 40 local leaders and entrepreneurs. The host was Nairobi Garage.
OMA 2017 Summit (Lagos, Nigeria) – The summit was co-produced in collaboration with TechPreneur Africa and the late Bolaji Finnih (2014 – 2015 Legatum Fellow). The event was attented by over 180 participants from the entrepreneurship, alumni and corporate communities. The programs included vision talks, leadership panels, keynote speeches, workshops, alumni visits and a local startup pitch competition. Speakers included the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos and several Legatum alumni such as WeCyclers’ Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola (WeCyclers) and MAX’s Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh.back