Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup ecosystems brought its third pre-selection round to a successful close during Seedstars Johannesburg, targeting startups in the Gauteng area. The event took place last Friday at the Standard Bank Incubator, where 10 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of a jury panel.
The South African competition is carried out with the support of local lead partner, Standard Bank and local ambassador Entrepreneur Traction. Additional support is provided by regional partners Enel and Merck and local partner Payfast.
“Our congratulations to the first round of finalists. We are proud to be partnering on an initiative that recognises the innovativeness of entrepreneurs across South Africa and we are thrilled with the quality of submissions, the pitches of the Entrepreneurs and the winners of the 1st leg. We look forward to welcoming our second group of finalists in Cape Town on the 8 June.” says Jayshree Naidoo, Head of Incubator at Standard Bank.
“Jozi rocked like never before. We’re incredibly excited about the ecosystem and the startups its producing, which really makes the competition incredibly exciting. The third year of our partnership with Seedstars could turnout to be the best year yet.” says Vuyisa Qabaka from Entrepreneur Traction.
The top three startups from Gauteng that advance to the grand finale are Invoiceworx, an inventory financing platform that gives small retailers access to lines of credit from suppliers, Empty Trips Pty Ltd, Africa’s first online smart transport marketplace connecting transporters, brokers and shippers, CommuScore, an alternative credit scoring model focusing on the savings schemes and loan repayments that happen in the informal market, and Muzi, an app that aims to improve accuracy and create valuable epidemiology data for HIV screening by the use of a smartphone. The other startups invited to pitch were Arcus Capital, BeaconWorx, Powershare, WiPo Wireless Power, Easy equities, Lenoma Legal
The top four startups in the country will be invited to the Johannesburg final where they will compete with the best startups from all parts of the country, of which one will be crowned the most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars World South Africa 2017.
“We had over 50% increase in the number of applications this year and we were really impressed by the quality of startups in Gauteng that tackled different problems in fintech, healthcare and energy, and offered innovative software and hardware solutions for real issues across the country and the continent. We are heading to Cape Town now, and I believe it will be a tough choice this year to pick the winner as we have so many good ones already.!” says Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager of Africa.
The 10 startups pitched in front of a jury that consisted of John Campbell, Head of EDGE at Standard Bank, Floris Buys, Head of Digital Business Unit at Telkom Digital (SpliceWorks), Thabo Ncalo, Managing Partner Savvy Venture Partners, and Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager at Seedstars World.
Continuing on its world tour of startup ecosystems in emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, Seedstars World’s next stop is Cape Town, where the best startups will be invited to compete at the grand finale to become the national winner of South Africa.