Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is coming to Mali on 4th of September for its 1st edition in the country.
In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 360 employees worldwide.
The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars Bamako 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 Inmarsat, INADEM, Standard Bank and Deloitte, 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.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. After three years of our existence, we have definitely confirmed our initial hypothesis that the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship. We are constantly expanding into new countries to learn about ecosystems and discover new talent. We are therefore very excited to come to Mali for the first time and see what the country has to offer.” explains Claudia Makadristo, Associate for Seedstars World. .
Up to 10 of the best seed stage startups in Mali will be invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland. In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World is closely working with Impact Hub Bamako, Mali’s leading startup incubator, who is representing the initiative throughout the year.
“The excitement is at its peak! One of the most important start-up competitions in the world is coming to Bamako. Seedstars World is an amazing opportunity for the best entrepreneurs of emerging countries to be identified. The selected start-ups “those that will shape our future” will benefit from access to a great network and community, media exposure and overall the opportunity to connect with leading investors. The global winner, who will be selected among the participating countries can earn $500,000 to grow his business. To the Malian community of entrepreneurs, do not wait!” explains Mohamed Keita, Co-Founder and CEO at Impact Hub Bamako. Support is provided by Orange and Azalai Hotels Group.
“Orange is a strategic partner in Africa and the Middle-East with its 110+ million customers. It plans to play a leading role in supporting the digital transformation of the African continent and to be a major partner to the whole digital ecosystem, from startups to large companies. So we are happy to discover and provide our support to startups through Seedstars World event in Accra.” says Edgar Kra, Project Manager, Business Development at Orange.
All participating startups will also qualify for two major prizes that Seedstars World is running this year: Together with TRECC Startups in Education qualify for the global “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. In addition, Seedstars World and Intel are collaborating on the “Intel Solutions Challenge” to find the best startups in Hardware, IoT, Cloud and Analytics with the goal of inviting them to a prestigious Demo Day with internal and external partners who will give access to market and funding for the best startups.
Applications are open now and startups can apply here: http://www.seedstarsworld.com/event/seedstars-bamako-2016/