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Underdog Tech Award unveils three exceptional entrepreneurs as 2024 winners

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The Underdog Tech Award, an international prize for founders of the best tech startups located outside of the world’s major tech hubs and startup communities, proudly announces its 2024 winners. The award, which launched last year, aims to champion and support tech entrepreneurs in overcoming hurdles including limited resources, a lack of access to funding, and an inability to attend important industry events, due to their location.

The awards ceremony, held virtually, celebrated visionary founders from across the globe that are reshaping their respective industries and communities despite the odds being stacked against them by virtue of their geographies. This year’s winners include:

1st Place ($30,000 Prize): Elmira Safarova from Chile with Rarus Health

Rarus Health offers a beacon of hope to families grappling with rare genetic diseases by helping to improve diagnostics and generate data to accelerate the development of drug and gene therapies.

2nd Place ($20,000 Prize): Mohamed Tarek Mohamed Abdelzaher from Egypt with P-vita

P-vita plays a vital role in supporting sustainability efforts in the Middle East by leveraging AI and IoT to recycle agricultural waste into raw material for use in the cosmetics and food industries. The company’s commitment to sustainability and the creation of a more circular economy is already helping to set a high industry standard.

3rd Place ($10,000 Prize): Saúl Paniagua-Lapenta from Bolivia with Vaka

VAKA’s pioneering platform bridges the gap between farmers and micro-investors, fostering economic empowerment and agricultural sustainability in Bolivia and beyond.

Alongside recognizing this year’s top three prize winners, the initiative also awarded $5,000 and special recognition to:

Victor Juarez of Tu Consejeria (Guatemala) - acknowledged for the invaluable contributions he has made toward improving mental health support and providing essential services to communities in need.

Ashraf Bacheet of O7 Therapy (Egypt) - celebrated for his impactful work in addressing mental health challenges and offering solace and guidance to individuals across Egypt.

Ekaterina Smirnova, Head of the Underdog Tech Award, emphasized the important role that such initiatives play for startups operating outside of the world’s major tech hubs, commenting:

"The Underdog Tech Award serves as a beacon of encouragement and validation to innovators navigating uncharted territories. By spotlighting their achievements, we hope to inspire a new wave of entrepreneurship and foster a more inclusive tech ecosystem."

The Underdog Tech Award is committed to nurturing talent, and in addition to cash prizes, offers winners training from industry experts and PR support. These initiatives aim to catalyze the winning startups’ growth as well as empower underrepresented voices in the global tech landscape.