Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup ecosystems has brought its pre-selection rounds to an end.
In partnership with Standard Bank, Seedstars World hosted the pre-selections in Cape Town, Durban and Soweto and is inviting the top 3 startups from each city to compete at the grand finale, which will be hosted at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
South Africa was previously represented by Giraffe, who was crowned the “Seedstars World Global Winner 2015” for their innovative solution to reduce unemployment in emerging markets. “The award has given us massive exposure, which is something we really need, and there are a lot of investors and potential partners contacting us in order to collaborate. But this award is not only affecting Giraffe, it’s also putting South Africa on the map.” says Shafin Anwarsha, co-founder of Giraffe.
The top startups to advance to the grand final are:
- Crew Pencil: An online crew booking and diary service for the film industry that allows diary, bookings and invoicing all in one.
- Pargo: A convenient logistics solution that lets customers collect and return their parcels at a local store when it suits them best.
- WumDrop: It allows people to pick up and drop off anything with the click of a button.
- Guardian Angel Safety Solution: A GPS tracking product that offers an affordable personal safety solution for children, adults, elderly, and even pets.
- You, Baby and I: An online platform that allows moms to experience brands by matching them to location and interests.
- Vitls: The startup building a revolutionary wearable medical device for homes and hospitals, allowing vitals to be monitored continuously and undisturbed from anywhere.
- Sortd: A communication-centric organizer that transforms email and instant messaging into a set of organized to-do lists.
- UmoyAir Communications: A provider of free calls from mobile phones to any number without airtime or data.
- Riovic: A micro-insurer that provides digital and P2P insurance backed by crowdfunding.
In addition, Seedstars World has decided to introduce a wildcard, and will invite 1 additional startup to compete in Johannesburg. Seedstars World is closely working with Standard Bank, in order to deliver the best possible event and to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity.
“We are proud to be the country sponsor of Seedstars South Africa. This year we were able to take the Seedstars competition to three provinces, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The Standard Bank Incubator team has adjudicated in all of the regional finals and we are looking forward to presenting the top 10 startups to the Finals on the 30th June at the flagship Standard Bank Business Incubator situated in Rosebank. Last year’s SA winner Giraffe Jobs proudly won Seedstars Global in Geneva earlier this year and we are hoping this year SA is able to produce another global contender. This competition highlights the amazing talent we have not just in SA but on the continent and we will continue to grow and nurture entrepreneurs through our incubators.” says Jayshree Naidoo, head at Standard Bank Incubator.
“South Africa has world-class entrepreneurial talent, and this was proven last year by Giraffe who won at the global summit in 2015. Our priority for 2016 is to cast the net even wider and give the opportunity to the whole country to participate and become part of a global journey”, says Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
The startups will pitch in front of a jury that consist of Jayshree Naidoo, Head of Incubator at Standard Bank, Polo Radebe, Chief Executive Officer at IDF, Ravi Naidoo, Executive Director for Economic Development & Tourism at City of Johannesburg, Charmaine Padayachy Principal at Omidyar Network, Fritz Milosevic, Managing Partner at Dotadvisors and Marcello Schermer Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World is also closely working with Entrepreneur Traction, who is representing the initiative throughout the year as an ambassador. “We have really enjoyed working with the Seedstars team in sourcing and helping mentor some of South Africa’s best startup talent for the second year running. Speaking on behalf of our ecosystem, we believe that aligning with a global initiative such as Seedstars will definitely help to drive global market access for local startups.” says Dean Cannell, Co-Founder of Entrepreneur Traction.
Further support for the finals in Johannesburg is provided by partners Omidyar Network, Payfast, Glocell, Red Bull, Dot Advisors, and Duo Marketing. 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.