Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to South Africa with a bang – it’s bigger and better than ever before.
Through a partnership with Standard Bank, Seedstars World will host pre-selection events in Cape Town, Durban and Soweto and invite the top 3 from each city to the grand finale hosted at the Standard Bank Incubator in Johannesburg.
After the pre-selection events in these cities, about 10 of the best seed stage startups will be selected and invited to the grand finale to pitch to a panel of judges for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland.
The global finals of the 2015 edition of the competition took place at the Seedstars Summit with South Africa’s revolutionary mobile recruitment startup, Giraffe – which recently raised funds from Silicon Valley investors – emerging winner.
“With Giraffe as the global winner of our competition, we have proven that South Africa has world class entrepreneurial talent. This year is about casting our net even wider and giving the opportunity to the whole country to participate and become part of a global journey,” said Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
He added, “We have found a great partner in Standard Bank who is investing a lot into making this ecosystem competitive and inclusive on a local and global level.”
Applications are now open for the pre-selection events. The events will hold on May 27, June 8 and June 14 in Cape Town, Durban and Soweto respectively.
Interested startups must be less than 2 years old, have raised less than US$500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction.
Also, the startups must possess the ability to scale regionally and globally – this criterion is really a big deal to the Seedstars World team.
“Seedstars World has been a great partner to mobilise support and exposure for the Startup community in South Africa and the continent. Given the success of our partnership in South Africa in 2015, we are proud to once again be the country sponsor of Seedstars World. We look forward to another great year as we expand the Seedstars competition to include three provinces, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban,” said Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank incubator.
The event is supported by Payfast, Red Bull, Simodisa, Silicon Cape, Spin Street House, Mancosa University, Durban Hub, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa and the Innovation Hub/eKasi Labs in Soweto.
This year, the Seedstars World will tour 20 African countries in search of the continent’s most promising tech startups. All the winning startups from each country will go on to compete with other startups from across the world at the global finals for US$1 million in equity investment.