In a bid to bolster the entrepreneurial spirit, the Zambian operations of Pan-African creative agency, X3M Ideas is launching a national competition to showcase, promote, and offer funding to start-ups and MSMEs.
The competition tagged ‘X-Pitchathon’ which began on August 29, 2023, in Lusaka, is part of the activities earmarked to mark the fifth anniversary of X3M Ideas’ operations in Zambia.
Since its launch in 2018, X3M Ideas Zambia has amassed a sizable clientele and received awards like Beefeater Pink’s Most Innovative Pernod Ricard Brand in South Central Africa. The X-Pitchathon, an initiative of X3M Ideas Zambia, aims to help Zambian startups under five years old.
Beyond the celebrations, X-Pitchathon by X3M Ideas was created to strengthen the capacity of business owners to access platforms, funding, and other resources they need to develop and market their innovations and ventures.
The competition is expected to create opportunities for networking and in recognition. To qualify for the competition, all participants are required to be Zambians, not less than 18 years old, with a start-up or an early-stage business. In addition, all participants should have a working business model, prototype or minimum viable product (MVP).
With the goal of impacting Zambia’s economic growth as well as Africa’s development, X-Pitchathon will give participants a well-organised setting where they can pitch their creative concepts to a panel of judges made up of investors, experts, and business leaders.
Adenike Odutola, Managing Director, X3M Ideas Zambia, explains why this competition was conceived.
“X-Pitchathon was created as a tech solution to solve some of the lingering challenges associated with owning businesses in Africa, particularly Zambia. Like many young entrepreneurs across the continent, many Zambian business owners lack access to funding opportunities, value-driven partnerships, and investor networks. At X3M Ideas Zambia, we believe that this competition is a giant step towards building a stronger economy in Africa.”
The competition requires a detailed online registration and the submission of support documents stated on www.xpitchathon.com. Entries for the competition opened on August 29, 2023, and will close on September 29, 2023, with the final pitch slated for November 1, 2023. The grand prize to be won is worth over K1,000,000, including a K50,000 cash prize, K850,000 worth of marketing, and K100,000 worth of business tools, while the Purpose Category – winner gets K30,000 in funding.
Speaking on the initiative, Steve Babaeko, founder and CEO of X3M Ideas, said: “At X3M Ideas, we are very committed to helping start-ups, MSMEs, and innovators find their X by connecting them to opportunities, potential investors, and resources for growth. X-Pitchathon is a brilliant opportunity for new and emerging brands to find their unique voices and visibility in the African market.”
X3M Ideas Zambia began operations on August 29th, 2018, and the parent company, X3M Ideas Nigeria, is a market leader and a disruptor in the advertising landscape. The creators of Good Reports named X3M Ideas as one of the top 40 global agencies in 2023.
Additionally, the firm received 18 awards at the 2023 Pitcher Awards, and most recently, it made history by becoming the first Nigerian firm to receive the prestigious Cannes Lions Awards. The firm has since begun operations in Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, and Kenya, with further plans to expand across Africa and the Middle East.