Though this African-founded startups didn’t bring money home, they did lift our hearts and made us happy. Africa’s RetailTower, a web solution that help both consumers and online merchants and SimplePay, an online payment platform for Africa did shine at the just concluded Seedstars World Global Competition held in Switzerland.
The two were among the top five finalists at the Grand and Final Event of Seedstars World 2013/2014 where Seoul-based Flitto, emerged the winner. The translation app works like Google Translate plus sign language and more languages. Other startups among the top included, Kudo Learning, a learning application for kids and Jayride, a fun and unique traveling startup.
Held on February 4, 2014, the Seedstars World competition attracted thousands of daring and innovative startups from all over the world. The global competition for startups in the emerging market was held in Geneva, Switzerland and opened the Lift Conference 2014. The five beat 20 regional champions to emerge as finalists.
According to Pierre-Alain Masson, co-founder of Seedstars World, this year’s crop of startups and ideas revealed before the world how talent and opportunities do not exclusively exist in the Silicon Valley. Rather, there are gems that are waiting to be tapped in unlikely places such as Baku and Lagos or the recognized promising destinations such as Hong Kong, Santiago and Seoul.
During the past year, Seedstars World held regional competitions in 20 cities all over the world. In cooperation with local partners, accelerators and other stakeholders, thousands of startups participated and were screened. The winners in the regional round were brought to Geneva to compete in the final pitching battle.
Aside from discovering the best business model and startup idea, the competition also aims to become a platform for advancing the interests of startups in the emerging markets. Seedstars World will return on April for the 2014 global startup competition.