Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets, has returned to Africa to scout for the top high growth startups and entrepreneurs and accelerate them on their path to global scaling.

Local winners will be invited to represent their country at the Regional Summit in Africa and win an all-inclusive trip to Switzerland, to introduce their startup to some of world’s most prominent investors and executives and enjoy the opportunity to win up to $1mn in equity investments and additional prizes.

On the 2018 edition of the tour, the Seedstars Africa regional team will visit 20+ cities across sub-Saharan Africa, hosting boot camps and pitch competitions. Countries such as Mauritius and Zambia, amongst others, will host local competitions for the first time, enlarging the impact of Seedstars mission in the continent.

Seedstars has done five successful tours so far, placing the spotlight on entrepreneurs from fast growing economies. African startups have had significant successes with three of its entrepreneurs having won the global prize in the past: SimplePay (Nigeria: 2013), Giraffe (South Africa: 2015) and Agrocenta (Ghana: 2018).

In the latest Seedstars Global Summit edition, which happened on the 12th of April in Lausanne, Africa broke new records having three startups amongst the finalists (besides Agrocenta), two of them awarded with important prizes: GiftedMom, finalist startup from Cameroon; Medsaf, from Nigeria, winner of Best Women Entrepreneur Prize, by TAG Heuer; EMGuidance, South Africa, winner of the Health Tech Prize by Merck. Solar Freeze, Kenya, was also winner of Africa Energy prize, by Enel; and EDVES, from Nigeria, was awarded Transforming Education Prize by TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities) and School of Management Fribourg (HEG Fribourg).

With hopes of repeating this success for African startups in the upcoming summit, Seedstars World is kicking off this year’s tour on the 29th of June in Harare, Zimbabwe.

At Regional and Global Summits, the best startups of each country will benefit from local mentorship and exposure, as well as from being part of the largest global network and platform for tech entrepreneurship and impact investment, comprising entrepreneurs, investors and other ecosystem players and spanning over 80 countries around the world. Local winners will also have a chance to be part of the Seedstars acceleration programme (Seedstars Growth).

The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars local events need to be less than two 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 regional partners such as Merck, SPECo, Enel or Continental, Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that are addressing underlying social challenges in their home countries and developing profitable products for the global market, to support their regional businesses and growth.

Applications are open here for startups in South Africa, Mozambique , Democratic Republic of Congo , Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, Rwanda, Angola, Zambia, Mauritius, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and others.

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