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Seedstars World Archives | TechCity

Paul AdepojuAug 10, 2016
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2min

Tomorrow August 11, a total of eight Nigerian startups would compete to emerge the best startup in Nigeria at the Seedstars World Lagos. The startups are Tuteria, an online tutoring service and Kangpe, a med-tech platform that connects patients with verified doctors via SMS, their mobile app.

Others selected are Davtonlearn, a cloud-based e-learning platform for professional courses,, Legal Form, a registration portal for companies, land, vehicles, work permits, food and drugs, Piggybank.ng, a service built by Sharphire Global that helps you save by automatically debiting your account at regular intervals, Quick Gas, an online cooking gas retailing platform,  Grit Systems, a startup that makes an internet enabled and Social Lender, a short-term loan service that is deeply integrated with user social profiles.

“Our mission is to discover startups that come from bustling, emerging economies like Nigeria and give them access to opportunities for support and funding,” Benjamin Benaim said (he’s the founding partner at Seedstars) “Specially this year, we have launched our first physical co-working space in Nigeria called Seedspace, and the Seedstars Academy, where we are constantly striving to add more value to our startups. Therefore, I am very excited for our Seedstars World event in Lagos.”

The finalists will pitch on August 11. The selected startups are all less than 2 years old, have raised less than $500,000 in funding, have an MVP, traction and can scale.


Paul AdepojuJul 20, 2016
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1min

Entries are now being accepted for Seedstars Lagos as the Seedstars World returns to Nigeria’s tech nerve center. According to the organizers, applications can be submitted from now till July 29 for the Lagos final event that would be held on August 11.

“The 10 best startups from Lagos will be invited to pitch in front of an investment panel and compete to be crowned the most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars Lagos 2016,” organizers said.

As expected, the winning startup will join the global Seedstars Family and take part in the regional and global Seedstars Summits that include Seedstars’ tried and tested bootcamp and investor forum which is described as a catalytic platform for high growth emerging market startups.

“In addition to seeing the top startups pitch, you can look forward to an event filled with disruptive tech, inspirational discussions, networking sessions and one flight ticket for the winner to come to Switzerland to compete for over $1 million in investment.”

You can register to attend or apply to pitch here.


Paul AdepojuAug 27, 2015
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1min

Yesterday, a mobile app that connects migrants to merchants, Mergims, emerged winner of the Rwanda leg of Seedstars World challenge and was crowned the best startup in Rwanda.

The Rwanda leg which was held in Kigali at the klab incubator featured a total of 10 startups who were invited to compete in the country’s iteration of the global pitching competition. The jury included Paul Soko an Investment Manager at Think.

He said: ““The quality of our participants is very high. I think this is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to invest in the next big thing, not just in Rwanda, but in Africa as a whole. Seedstars World is opening up opportunities for Africans to invest in the next technological breakthroughs from the continent. We underestimate the opportunity at our own peril.”


Paul AdepojuAug 3, 2015
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3min

On July 31st during Seedstars Lagos, MyQ won the Nigerian round of Seedstars World and will represent Nigeria at the Seedstars World Final in Geneva to compete for up to USD 500’000 in equity investment.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Nigerian round to a successful close during Seedstars Lagos, which was hosted at the Oriental Hotel Lagos. 12 startups were invited to compete and the regional winner, MyQ, a mobile application that provides queue management, passenger loading and ticketing services to the transportation industry, was selected the best startup in Nigeria. MyQ will be going to Switzerland in February 2016 for the final pitching round, potentially winning the USD 500’000 equity investment. Other investments and prizes such as the Travel Investment track powered by lastminute.com group, a USD 500k equity investment for the best travel startup and the USD 50k grant for the best space startup are also up for grabs.

The event was organized in partnership with Stanbic IBTC who acted as the main sponsor for the event. Demola Adebisi, Marketing & Communication at Stanbic IBTC said “Congratulations to all the participating startups and especially to MyQ, tonight’s winner”.

The 12 startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury including Tomi Davies, the president of ABAN (African Business Angel Network) who said “This crop of entrepreneurs are different in that they came prepared to show why their products are market beaters and their business model differentiated. Seedstars itself has grown up with better organization and deeper relationships in the country.”

The regional winner, MyQ, was named Nigeria’s best startup for its unique solution. Ishiaku Gwamna of MyQ, talked to us about winning the title and what it means to him and his company. “I feel great, we are happy and we really appreciate winning the title. Both the bootcamp and the actual event were inspiring and we are really looking forward to see what’s next”.

Talentbase with its lightweight and easy-to-use mobile/web-based HR & Payroll Software targeting 20milllion SMEs in Nigeria came second and Nerveflo, a unified digital content distribution system for the next billion people in Africa and emerging markets (i.e. ITunes for Africa), grabbed the last spot in the top 3.


Oma EhiriJul 18, 2015
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4min

Are you an entrepreneur in Lagos seeking for investors? Your search might just be a tap away with UberPITCH so long as you can make yourself available within Victoria Island, lekki Phase1 and Yaba areas in Lagos State.

How will this happen? On the 28th of July, 2015, entrepreneurs within the aforementioned vicinities in Lagos, will have the opportunity to request a special ride with a top notch investor and get the chance to have a one on one meeting with the investor where they can pitch their ideas. This is scheduled to hold between 11am and 3pm on that day and entrepreneurs have just about 15minutes to get the investors to listen to their ideas.

UberPitch

The highlight of this event is the opportunity given to one Nigerian Startup to fill in the last slot for the Seedstars World competition on the 31st of July. This startup will be chosen from the pool of interested Nigerian startups who take part in the UberPitch.

To participate in this competition, startups need to be less than 2years in existence with less than USD500,000 in funding and be able to show an MVP or a prototype.

Organisers have put together a team of top notch investors like Tomi Davies, President of the African Business Angels Network, and other top Lagos investors. According to Marcello Schemer, the regional manager of Seedstars World in Africa, “We’re thrilled about partnering with Uber and giving every entrepreneur in Lagos, unprecendented access and opportunities to meet with the best and most influential investors in Lagos”.

Speaking on Uber’s involvement in this initiative, Ebi Atawodi, General manager of Uber lagos says, “Uber is about empowering people – the heart of our business is a fusion of technology and entrepreneurship. UberPitch is an new and exciting way for us to help showcase the entrepreneurship spirit and talent of Lagos. Together Uber & Seedstar World are really giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to potentially take their business ideas to the next level”.

To ensure that you are part of this competition, the first step is to download the Uber app which is available on Android, iPhone and Blackberry devices. As soon as that is done, enter the promo code LAGOSPITCH to open the uberPITCH view in preparation for the 28th of July. On that day, between 11am– 3pm, request the uberPITCH option via your app and once you are connected, you can go ahead to pitch your ideas.

All rides are free and will start and end at your pickup location but note that this is only available within lekki Phase1, Victoria Island and Yaba.

Lagos Startup Week is a celebration of entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners in Lagos. It is a week-long event made up of various sessions, keynotes, panels, pitches & meetups where every startup gathers to learn from local and visiting entrepreneurs as they share their experiences and get ready to take on the continent’s next challenge. Having this competition at this time, make it very significant. For more details register on: www.lagosstartupweek.com


Olawale AdeyinaFeb 5, 2015
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11min

 Seedstars World (SSW) the global startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its 2014 round to a successful close at the Seedstars World Final Event hosted by Lift, one of the biggest innovation and tech conferences in Europe. After travelling to 36 different cities to find the best global startups, the SSW team invited its regional winners to the final round to compete for an equity investment of up to $500k. Following the semi-finals which were held at EPFL, 10 startups were selected to compete and pitch, on the main stage, in front of a crowd of 1000+ participants and a jury panel at the Final event. The grand winner of the second edition of Seedstars World was Salarium from the Philippines, a leading HR resource in emerging markets used by companies such as DHL.

[quote_box_left] “Most Innovative” startup was awarded to Choji Bare from Nigeria’s Green Energy, which turns plastic waste into petrol.[/quote_box_left]

Participants were also asked to pick their favorite startup for the Public Vote award, presented by Republique et Canton de Geneve, which went to OkHi from Nairobi, a solution that offers smartphone geolocalization for the 4 billion people worldwide that do not have an address. The School of Management Fribourg looked for startups that continuously pushed the envelope, and its prize for the “Most Innovative” startup was awarded to Choji Bare from Nigeria’s Green Energy, which turns plastic waste into petrol.

Philippine startup Salarium: Winner of Seedstars World Competition

The ten finalists pitched their startups in front of an international and prestigious jury including Serendipity Investments’ founder Jose Marin, Marco Corradino, founder of Bravofly Rumbo Group, Kinnevik’s Jessica Thorell, Techstars MD Jens Lapinski, Mountain Partners founder Dr. Cornelius Boersch, Johnny El Hachem, CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, and Seedstars co-founder Pierre-Alain Masson.

Grand Winner Judah Hirsch, was awarded the Seedstars World trophy and was crowned the “Seedstars World Best Startup 2014” for their payroll SaaS solution. Judah Hirsch, CEO of Salarium, talked to us about winning the SSW trophy and what it means to him and his company. “We look forward to being part of the Seedstars World family because of their hands on investment style and the lessons we can learn from them. SSW promotes emerging markets and their talents on a global stage and gives our startups the spotlight they deserve.”

The Seedstars World Final Event also featured several sessions and workshops, which discussed trends in emerging markets and how to disrupt traditional industries. Temenos featured the session Is banking in the perfect storm of disruption? with financial service experts, such as Ingenico’s Mouna Fouillade. The evening offered an exclusive dinner in partnership with Edmond de Rothschild to further connections between the Seedstars World startups and business angels, VCs, HNWIs, and investors.

10 Finalists Up for funding

The 10 Semi-Finalists before their final pitch

Ten finalists were selected at the Seedstars World Semi-finals at the EPFL on February 3rd. Nairobi’s OkHi, a geolocalized address book, will be up funding via the Seedstars World investment fund, including other finalists like Singapore’s 6Degrees, a self updating phone book, Peruvian travel platform Busportal, crowdsourcing concert organizer Krowdpop from Seoul, the Brazilian hardware device Ploog, for your desktop on the go, India’s Scandid app for geolocalized savings and discounts, Salarium, the Philippine payroll service, Yerevan learning management system Sololearn, casual gaming studio The Other Guys from Argentina, and Bangkok’s Washbox24, an automatized laundry service thanks to specialized lockers.  Funding will take place via the Seedstars World Crowd Fund, which allows European investors to invest with a minimum of £100. The fund is running via Seedrs, the first crowdfunding platform for funds in Europe (equity crowdfunding). The recently opened fund is raising USD 500K and is closing in March.

Before the Semi-finals, the startups took part in an intensive bootcamp at the leading engineering school EPFL, which included pitch training and mentoring session that reexamined each startups business model and financial sustainability. Mentors included top entrepreneurs such as Chinaccelerator’s Todd Embley, Eventbrite’s Co-founder Renaud Visage, Galixo’s CEO Raphael Dana, as well as representatives from leading tech companies like Cristina Riesen of Evernote, and Nicolas Bry, the SVP of Innovation at Orange Vallée. The bootcamp offered exclusive insights into the Lausanne area, which the State Department of the Vaud Canton has been transforming into a dynamic ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

2015 Ambitions – 50 Cities and USD 1 Million Up for Grabs

The Seedstars World team on the Final Event stage sharing insights from their travels

With its first two editions, Seedstars World has already built an impressive track record: Its first round of  20 startups raised USD 14 Million and hired 150 new employees, after which 2014 expanded to 36 countries. For the 2015 tour, 50 cities will be visited throughout the year. More news on which cities are joining the Seedstars World roster will be available on the Seedstars World website in March 2015. Also, running in parallel to the original startup competition, Seedstars World announces three tracks that focus on strategic industries that are transforming our day to day habits.

First, Seedstars World will partner with Bravofly Rumbo Group to launch a “Travel Track”, during which Seedstars World will organise local pitching events in a selection of 30 countries to find the best travel startups. Bravofly Rumbo Group will invest up to USD 500k in the winner of the competition and bring its knowledge and power house to support this investment. This will bring the total amount of investment available for startups to USD 1 million. Seedstars World co-founder Pierre-Alain Masson stated that the added focus on the travel industry was a strategic move, as he believes that “the travel industry has always been innovative, first breaking online barriers and now moving into mobile commerce. With more than 1.1 billion people travelling out of their home country in 2014 alone (source: UN’s World Tourism Organization), there is a huge market potential and I believe that it is important for Bravofly Rumbo Group to stay close to the innovation and startup space, as it will be, of course, a driver for growth.”

Furthermore, Seedstars World is also adding specialized tracks for Social Entrepreneurship and Fintech. “Both financial services and technology as well as social entrepreneurship startups are innovating industries and ways we live and do business. In the social space, the creativity in bringing profitability and community impact is very impressive, especially in Africa.” said Alisee de Tonnac, CEO of Seedstars World. “And 2014’s USD 467 Billion in remittance flows to emerging countries (source: World Bank Forecast) alone make fintech a very attractive market to be involved in.”


Olawale AdeyinaJan 21, 2015
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5min

Seedstars World (SSW), the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast growing startup scenes is bringing Lagos-based startup to Geneva at its Final Event on February 4th, 2015. Green Energy won Seedstars Lagos last June and is among the 36 startups that will compete and pitch for USD 500K equity investment.

More than 1,500 startups from Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America applied to participate in Seedstars World. During its world tour in 2014, Nellie Horn and Julien Berthomier, Seedstars World’s Global Scouts, hosted local competitions in 36 countries to find the best locally-grown startups. After nine months on the road, Seedstars World will be welcoming all the startup finalists for the Grand Final in Switzerland. Countries represented at Seedstars World include Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Iran, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded by Alisee de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition is supported by the venture builder Seedstars SA. After its first successful edition in 2013 across 20 cities, SSW expanded its competition massively to more than 30 countries. Every regional event featured up to 20 startups, during which they had to prove their worth in six minutes of pitching time and withstand the questions from a local jury of experts (investors, accelerator directors & successful entrepreneurs). Regional winners are then invited back to Geneva for the Grand Final. “Seedstars World is the culmination of a nine month search for the world’s most innovative tech startup outside Silicon Valley.” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “Seedstars World will hold its worldwide competition every year and we are expecting to grow exponentially to all the corners of the world.”

Startup finalists will take part in a three-day bootcamp organized in partnership with EPFL, the leading European engineering school. International investors & mentors from top accelerators like BBooster, The Founder’s Institute​, Chinaccelerator as well as from the business strategy consultancy Galixo will coach them on their business model.

The winner of the global startup competition will be announced during the Final Event hosted on the first day of the Lift Conference, one of the top innovation and tech conferences in Europe. The Seedstars World winner will be chosen by a jury composed of top investors such as Johnny el Hachem, the CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Seedstars World’s investment partner, Jose Marin the founder of Serendipity Investments and Jessica Thorell of Investment AB Kinnevik; and top entrepreneurs such as, Jens Lapinski, the managing director of Techstars and Marco Corradino, the co-founder of Bravofly Group.

Seedstars World looks for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. In Lagos, Green Energy turns plastic waste into generator and car fuel. After winning the regional event in Nigeria on the 13th of June, CEO Choji Bare stated “Sustainability is a global issue. So where better to present Green Energy than on the global stage in Geneva? We look forward to the Final Event and are excited to go!”

For this second edition, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business angels, journalists and start-ups enthusiasts are expected to join for the final chapter of the SSW 2014 tour. During the first edition in February 2014, around 500 people participated, with the ex-VP of Alibaba, Porter Erisman, showcasing the type of opportunities to be found in emerging countries and the growth potential.



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