Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Kenya round to a successful close during Seedstars Nairobi. The event took place last Friday at Nailab, and 11 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.
The local winner, M-Shule, a platform that improves learning for every primary student in Africa using artificial intelligence and SMS to deliver personalized, accessible education, was selected the best startup in Kenya. As part of the prize, M-Shule will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.
M-Shule also won a 6 month free membership to the Nairobi Garage as part of the first prize, while the runner up won a 3 month free membership, and all the finalists were awarded a 2 month membership to continue developing their businesses in a great environment around other freelance entrepreneurs and SMEs. Anyone else can get $50 off until December by signing up here.
BuuPass, a digital marketplace for bus and train tickets that creates simple transportation solutions to help people move easily, came second, and Sinbad Technologies, a platform to democratize and simplify the process of obtaining marine cargo insurance, grabbed the last spot in the top 3.
The eleven startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury: Neil Edward Wood, Principal at Open Capital Advisors, Duncan Muchangi, Strategy, Investor Relations and M&A at Jumia, Fanny Dauchez, Associate for Africa at Seedstars World, Sapna Shah, Investment Director at Novastar Ventures, Aristarichus Weru, Head of Acquisition at Stanbic Bank Kenya, and Martin Karanja Senior Market Engagement Manager at GSMA.
The event was made possible thanks to the support provided by our main partner Stanbic Bank Kenya, our local supporter Africa's Talking, our venue partners Nailab and the Nairobi Garage, our official food sponsors Jumia Food, Adega Restaurants, and Heineken, our regional partners Orange, Enel Green Power, Merck, VC4A and Microsoft 4Afrika.
At the same time, Seedstars World is also working very closely with Enel Green Power to source the most innovative business models in the energy sectors and ones that are fostering socio-economic development in rural villages in Africa. Up to 5 best startups in this sector will be invited for an exclusive RES4Africa networking event taking place in Nairobi and compete for an Africa Energy Prize which consists of a financial contribution and a three-month acceleration programme for a total value of up to $50,000.
With this event, the Seedstars Africa tour comes to an end. The next stop will be Maputo, Mozambique, where all the local winners, as well as special startup delegations and local entrepreneurs are invited for a 3 day conference that includes a mentorship day, investor meetings, an ecosystem tour, workshops, and the opportunity to pitch and exchange with an audience from 20 African countries. Tickets are available on our website: https://www.seedstarsworld.com/event/seedstars-africa-2017