Seedstars World, an international startup competition investing in top entrepreneurs from emerging markets, has announced the commencement of the 2016 edition of its acclaimed competition but this time with a bang.
This time around, the Seedstars team will tour 20 African countries – Mali, Zimbabwe and Sudan are first timers – in search of the continent’s most promising tech startups.
In each of these countries, there will be bootcamps and pitching competitions where prizes will be awarded the winning startups, coupled with the opportunity of competing at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland.
At the Summit, all competing startups from across the world will pitch in front of a jury to stand a chance of winning up to US$1 million in equity investment and other juicy prizes.
“After three years of identifying incredible entrepreneurs across the continent we have seen over and over again that African startups are competitive on a global level. This is why we are expanding the number of countries we are targeting this year while also offering a more structured support and acceleration program for all winners at the end of the tour,” said Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
Starting from today, applications to the competition are open to startups in the following countries: Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia.
The startups applying must be less than 2 years old, have received less than US$500,000 in funding, have an available MVP and the potential to scale regionally and globally.
Maputo in Mozambique will host the first Tour on May 13, 2016.
“We are incredibly excited about this year’s Seedstars World tour and how it ties into our other initiatives such as Seedspace and the Seedstars Academy in Lagos. Our goal is to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through the use of technology and we will have a very strong focus on expanding our impact around the world and on the African continent in particular,” said Alisee De Tonnac, CEO of Seedstars World.
South African recruitment startup, Giraffe – which just raised funds from a Silicon Valley investor – beat 62 competing startups from across the world to emerge winner of the 2016 edition of the competition, carting away US$500,000 in equity investment and other prizes.