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Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize

Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program

Null In 2021, the Milken Institute, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, launched the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program. The program is a series of multiyear, multimillion-dollar innovation competitions and awards harnessing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to advance technological solutions toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
The inaugural prize, the Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech, launched in April 2021 and challenged global innovators to demonstrate solutions for smallholder farmers in Africa to utilize tech to bring more food to the table. More than 3,500 entrepreneurs from 105 countries across six continents registered. Competition judges reviewed and selected 25 finalists and awarded $250,000. The finalists had a year to field test their ideas across 16 countries in Africa. The five winners were announced at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference, including the $1 million grand prize.
The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, launched in November 2022 at the Milken Institute Middle East and Africa Summit and challenged global entrepreneurs to expand access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity in Africa. In May 2023, the judges selected the 20 most transformative ideas from hundreds of registrants and awarded, in total, $400,000 for teams to test their innovations. These teams represented 12 countries across three continents. Their innovations include potential breakthroughs in wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal electricity generation, as well as energy storage and distribution. The judges then selected five teams to advance to the finalist round and awarded a total of $450,000 to teams for further testing. In February 2024, the finalist teams field-tested their innovations in South Africa (see more information below). In May 2024, the judges awarded the $1 million grand prize and a Runner-Up Prize of $250,000 at the 2024 Milken Institute Global Conference.
The Milken-Motsepe Prize in FinTech launched in May 2024 at the Milken Institute Global Conference to award innovative companies that best demonstrate the use of cutting-edge technologies to expand access to capital and financial services for small businesses in emerging and frontier markets. There is $2 million in prize funds available, with a $1 million grand prize for the winning company. Registration is free and open to anyone around the world. 

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Meet Aftrak and Omnivat, the Grand Prize and Runner-Up Winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy.
Meet the Winners
Our Vision
A collaboration between the Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program seeks to accelerate technological progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Its potential impact is endless.
"The purpose of the prize is to find anyone on this planet who has a good idea—who has an entrepreneurial way to solve a problem—and reward them."

Mike Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute

Read Mike Milken's Bio
"The Milken-Motsepe Prize is a powerful tool for solving some of Africa’s problems, particularly when it comes to hunger and poverty."

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Founder and CEO, Motsepe Foundation

Read Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe's Bio
"Technology provides a unique opportunity to leapfrog—allowing Africa to join the fastest growing economies of the world."

Dr. Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Chairman, Motsepe Foundation

Read Dr. Patrice Motsepe's Bio