Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes is returning to Botswana. With the support of main sponsor Stanbic Bank Botswana, Seedstars World will be holding a dynamic pitch event on November 3. In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is traveling to more than 75 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 500,000 and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 1000 employees worldwide.
Speaking on behalf of Stanbic Bank Botswana, the main partner for Seedstars World in Botswana, Mr. Onkabetse Morapedi, Head of Enterprise Banking, shared: “We are incredibly excited to see yet another instalment of the SeedStars Gaborone event. As Stanbic Bank Botswana, we believe there is a wealth of potential and talent in the entrepreneurial and innovation space across Botswana. The onus is on us as established organisations to share our insight, knowledge and experience to help these new startups to make their mark. Thus, we welcomed the opportunity to partner with SeedStars once again for what we believe is a truly impactful platform. Indeed, the global efforts of SeedStars are well known, and this is just one testament to the opportunity for exposure before the entrants.”
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 BBVA, Merck, Enel, Trecc and Standard Bank, 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.
In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World is closely working with Thabo Theron, co-Founder and Managing Director at Udugu Botswana, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. "This is our third year representing SeedStars in Botswana. As an ecosystem builder, Udugu Botswana is proud to collaborate with SeedStars. Local start-ups that have gone through the process continue to benefit from being involved in this global movement. Udugu Botswana has also benefited greatly from the exposure we have gotten by being associated with such a prestigious event. We continue to use this exposure to expand our network and reach for the benefit of the local start-up entrepreneur landscape."
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We are impressed by what we have seen in the continent so far and cannot wait to add startups from Botswana on our map,” explains Anis Kallel, Associate for Africa at Seedstars World.
Up to 10 of the best seed stage startups in Botswana will be invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland. 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 later this November 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 USD.
Further support is provided by our regional partners Orange, Merck, VC4A and Microsoft 4Afrika. Locally, further support is provided by Botswana Innovation Hub, Easy Biz- QuickBooks, Franklin Covey.
Applications are open now, and startups can apply here: https://www.seedstarsworld.com/event/SSW-Gaborone-17