BlueInvest Africa 2024

Call for Applications for Pitchers at BlueInvest Africa 2024, Kenya

BlueInvest Africa is specifically designed to target registered African businesses already engaged in various sectors of the blue economy, including start-ups. It also aims to engage African Small, Micro, and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) officially established in an African country that possess innovative ideas with potential for further commercial development within the African market.

The event anticipates the participation of around 200 on-site attendees, along with remote participants from both Africa and Europe, including investors and entrepreneurs.

BlueInvest Africa’s primary goals include fostering valuable business connections, creating opportunities to establish a network of potential partners, showcasing real-world business projects from the field, and facilitating the exchange of best practices and innovative ideas.

The event has a clear objective. It seeks to spotlight the largely untapped potential in Africa, promote entrepreneurial initiatives, and encourage active participation from both the public and private sectors in the rapidly expanding blue economy of the continent. Additionally, the event is geared towards promoting forward-thinking and sustainable solutions.

A total of 30 pitchers will be selected for participation in this event.

The targeted audience of the event will be:

  • Private sector, African start-up companies active in the blue economy, including small-scale businesses;
  • International financial institutions, public and private institutional investors;
  • International, national and regional organizations (private business platforms in countries);
  • Research institutions, incubators and innovators, operating exclusively in the private sector.

The selected pitchers will benefit from the following:

  • The opportunity to deliver their pitch, presenting their project, business idea, product, or service on the stage in Kenya during the aforementioned event.
  • The chance to engage in face-to-face interactions with both public and private investors with the objective of securing deals and obtaining financial support for their business or project.
  • Access to coaching and mentoring sessions, either in group settings or on an individual basis, tailored to prepare them for their pitch.
  • A unique opportunity to connect with fellow African project holders actively engaged in blue initiatives.
  • Access to a range of side events covering topics related to financing opportunities.
  • Direct access to development banks and other financial institutions.
  • Promotion of their stories and projects through various media outlets and social media platforms.


February 2, 2024
OrganizerBlue Invest
Targets Africa
Community water systems, Water storage, Water treatment, Water utilities, Water, sanitation and hygiene
SDG (1)
6. Clean Water and Sanitation

Eligibility criteria

Selected applicants in response to this call must adhere to the following eligibility criteria:

Location and Registration:

  • The pitching company must be legally registered and actively operating in an African Union member country. The organizers will make a concerted effort to ensure a balanced representation across diverse regions within Africa.
  • Applications from women, people in need and young entrepreneurs are highly encouraged, fostering inclusivity and diversity.
  • The company’s head office or registered office must be located in an African country, and its primary business activities should be conducted within the continent.
  • It is imperative that the pitching company possesses intellectual property rights over the product or service proposed by their project. A self-certification guaranteeing that the company is the owner of the intellectual property (IP) or exclusive licensees is required.
  • A signed Guidelines for Call for Applications for Pitchers must be uploaded with your application. 

Pitch Presentation:

  • The selected pitcher is required to be physically present in Kenya and deliver a presentation on behalf of his/her company, business, or project.
  • The designated pitcher can be a founding member, director, CEO, or any individual closely involved in the decision-making and management of the company or business.
  • Alternatively, a staff member designated by the company may also present the pitch. The pitching company is responsible for appointing a backup person who will stand in for the designated pitcher in the event of an emergency, such as illness or accidents. The backup person’s details must be provided in the application, along with an indication of their availability to step in. Proficiency in both French and/or English is a requirement for the backup person.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Status:

  • The company or business must qualify as a Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME), adhering to the definition outlined in the EU Recommendation 2003/361. Determining factors for MSME status will be assessed based on established criteria.
  • It is essential for all applicants to fully align with the criteria hereunder to ensure their eligibility for participation in this opportunity. To be eligible, companies must meet the following criteria regarding the number of customers and either turnover or annual growth rate (CAGR).
    1. Number of customers
    2. Either turnover or Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Company categoryStaff headcountTurnover orCompound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Medium-sized< 250≤ 15 million Euros≤ 5%
Small< 50≤ 2 million Euros≥ 10%
Micro< 10≤ 0.5 million Euros≥ 25%

These ceilings apply to the figures for individual firms only. If a firm is part of a larger group or a holding, it is imperative to include the aggregated staff headcount, turnover, and CAGR from the entire group or holding.

Blue economy focus

Blue Economy Focus: The project presented by the pitching company must center on a blue economy sector, whether it operates within a maritime or coastal area of Africa or in African inland waters.

The concept of the blue economy encompasses all maritime activities and sectors, encompassing both traditional and emerging fields, whether they are situated in marine environments or on land, including rivers, lakes, and deltas.

Eligible projects in the following sectors are encouraged, provided they incorporate sustainability considerations into their production, distribution, service delivery, or product lifecycle:

  • Fisheries and aquaculture;
  • Bio-marine technology (utilizing living resources);
  • Coastal protection and nature-based solutions addressing climate change;
  • Key enabling technologies (e.g., robotics, sensors, materials);
  • Reduction of marine litter, notably from plastics;
  • Marine services (such as insurance, monitoring, surveying);
  • Renewable energy solutions;
  • Shipbuilding;
  • Shipping operations;
  • Tourism ventures;
  • Carbon absorption operations

It is important to note that the list above is not exhaustive, and candidates may propose projects within other blue economy sectors as well.

Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): The activities of the pitching company and the project being presented must demonstrate alignment with one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations.

The event organizers are particularly interested in projects that exhibit a strong commitment to sustainability.

Below are examples of sectors that can be in conformance with UN SDGs:

  • Food security and Zero hunger
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate change
  • Life below water (related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources

Projects falling within the following sectors are not eligible:

  • Projects that Endanger Maritime and Onshore Ecosystems: Projects primarily focused on activities that pose a threat to maritime and onshore ecosystems are ineligible for consideration.
  • Projects that Endanger Indigenous Communities: Projects that jeopardize the traditional life and communities of indigenous people are not considered eligible.
  • Projects Linked to Criminal Activities: Projects associated with or connected to criminal activities such as human trafficking, child and women abuse and violence, drugs, weapons, tobacco trafficking, and similar unlawful practices are excluded from eligibility.
  • Projects Involving Civil-Military Cooperation and Defense Matters: Projects that are related to or concentrated on activities associated with civil-military cooperation and defense matters will not be accepted.


Applications must be submitted by January 26th. Any applications received after this date will not be accepted.

Starting from January 27th, the eligibility of companies that have applied will be assessed.

Subsequently, the applications from eligible companies will undergo evaluation by a commission established by the contracting authority, comprising international experts.

Assessment criteria

The assessment will be fair, transparent, and based on the following criteria:

  • Compliance with specified guidelines and criteria.
  • Demonstrated capabilities to meet project requirements.
  • Innovation and feasibility of proposed solutions.
  • Relevant experience.
  • Technical expertise in the field.