Dubbed the largest seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, Seedstars World has come to its peak during the latest edition Seedstars Summit Africa in South Africa, on December 3rd to 5th.
Seedstars, the leading emerging market startup community and investor, selected these 10 amongst the most promising startups from the continent, to compete for the grand prize of $500,000 at the Seedstars Summit 2020
- Roque Online (Angola) — provides informal vendors with access to tech to reach more customers
- Crop2Cash (Nigeria) — provides agricultural solutions to smallholder farmers
- Exuus (Rwanda) — provides a digital savings platform to empower low-income communities thus making them financially resilient
- Pezesha (Kenya) — provides working capital to small businesses
- OKO Finance (Mali) — offering crop insurance to smallholder farmers through a simple interface
- Nadji.bi Gambia (The Gambia) — specialised in industrial manufacturing of impacts solar solutions, in rural as well as in urban area, and for households or agricultural uses
- Nvoicia (Ghana) — provides invoice financial and working capital to Ghanaian small businesses
- Vectra (South Africa) — provides digital commerce infrastructure
- Afrikamart (Senegal) — connects fruits, vegetables and cereals producers with local and international B2B buyers
- Teheca (Uganda) — connects new and expectant parents to nurses for in-home & hospital postnatal care services and support
In addition, a wildcard was given to Txapita from Mozambique to participate in the global summit as well. They will represent the African region at the Seedstars Summit 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland and compete for the title of the Seedstars Global Winner, and up to $500,000 in equity investment and other prizes.
The other startups invited to pitch were Track Your Build (Sierra Leone), Yetu Pic (DRC), Sheria Kiganjani (Tanzania), Apptorney (Zambia), Digital Renter (Cameroon), Ocliya (Malawi), Eco Warriors (Mauritius, Lifiled (Côte d’Ivoire), GlocalTravel.io (Zimbabwe), Mohiri (Botswana), Passafree (Cape Verde), Macquarie Medical Care (Namibia), WhyToyz (South Africa).
Additional prize of $10,000 grant was awarded to Zafree Papers, from Ethiopia, as the winner of the Land Restoration Prize in partnership with DOEN, as well as OKO finance from Mali who will receive 3 months access to the investment readiness program as the winner of the Job Creation Prize in partnership with the African Development Bank.
As part of the Seedstars Summit Africa mandate to achieve better gender equality in partnership with the German Corporation and GIZ, the Summit invited an all-women judging panel consisting of Lyndsey Vandament (Investment Director at Social Venture Fund Global Partnerships), Amanda Cotterman (Partner at Equalife Capital), Anne-Marie Chidzero (CIO at FSD Africa), Rapelang Rabana (Founder and Chair at Rekindle Learning), Absa Gningue (Innovation Officer at the AfricanDevelopment bank), Vivan Nwakah (Founder at Medsaf), and Anicha Abdul (Managing Director of EP Management and Consultancy Services).
The Summit also hosted a series of keynote speeches from Rapelang Rabana, Kathomi Njeru, Jason Eisen, Chris Lwanga and Vivian Nwakah.
More than just a tech conference, the Seedstars Summit Africa was an opportunity for all stakeholders involved to network and create added value for their impact-driven companies.
Prior to the main day, an intensive growth Bootcamp to teach the 45+ startups how to scale up their businesses. It was followed up by the Investor Forum where the startups had over 180+ one-to-one meetings with top local and international mentors and investors.
“It was very impressive to see all those entrepreneurs from 25+ countries coming together, learning from each other and getting constant support and feedback from mentors, investors, and other industry experts. On top of the content and the networking opportunities they are provided with, their energy is the cherry on the cake”, Anne-Alice Fievet, the Summit Manager.
Among the companies and institutions that made the Seedstars Summit Africa 2019 possible are Microsoft4Startups, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, DOEN, African Development Bank Group, Tshimologong, the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ, France24, Venture Burn, Tech Cabal, HYBR, THUD, Workshop 17, AlphaCode and others.
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