Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Botswana on November 4th. In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an all inclusive trip to the regional summit in Rwanda and the Global summit in Switzerland with the opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.
The Botswana competition will be carried out with the support of local lead partner, Stanbic Bank Botswana and local ambassador Thabo Theron, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. Further support is provided by regional partners Microsoft and Intel. Other supporters include Botswana Innovation Hub and VC4Africa, amongst others.
“Stanbic Bank’s partnership with Seedstars is a testament to our commitment towards championing innovation and indeed entrepreneurship. We are committed to assisting businesses start, grow and manage their enterprises. This comes naturally for us as a business banking focused financial serves institution – we are, by all means, a financial partner.
SMEs are a big creator of employment in many developing economies. Thus, our support of innovation through this partnership talks directly to dedication towards helping ensure further job creation. We are interested in helping transform ideas into realities, into real, thriving businesses. This partnership is indeed a manifestation of this as we hope to see business success stories from sole proprietors growing into multinationals and even beyond. We are committed towards making this progress real,” says Onkabetse Morapedi, Head of Enterprise Banking at Stanbic Bank Botswana.
The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars Gaborone event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars World team is searching for one additional criterion – the startup’s regional and global scalability. With a strong network of international partners such as Inmarsat, INADEM, Stanbic Bank and Deloitte, Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and develop profitable products for the global market, to support their regional businesses and growth.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of start-up entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. After four years of our existence, we have definitely confirmed our initial hypothesis that the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship,” explains Claudia Makadristo, Seedstars World CEO. “Our previous start-up’s are showing an impressive track record, and we are looking forward to seeing what the start-up’s of this edition will bring.”
Up to 10 of the best seed stage start-up’s in Botswana will be invited to pitch at the University of Botswana for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland. Botswana was previously represented by livestock management app Modisar.
In addition Seedstars World has partnered with TRECC to bring the “Transforming Education Prize” which will award the best startup in the education space from around the world with a prize of over USD 50,000. Along with PayU, Seedstars World is also looking for the best fintech start-up, which will be awarded the “FinTech Prize” at the Seedstars Summit. In addition, Seedstars World and Intel are collaborating on the “Intel Solutions Challenge” to find the best start-up’s in Hardware, IoT, Cloud and Analytics with the goal of inviting them to a prestigious Demo Day with internal and external partners who will give access to market and funding for the best start-up’s