After a successful first journey in 2013, through Zimbabwe and South Africa which saw three start-ups;Sterio.me, a learning system via SMS, Workforce, a platform bringing together job seekers and potential employers, and Bribed, an app to tackle corruption by crowdsourcing real time data on bribes launch operations, Berlin’s AMPION Venture Bus formerly a partner with StartupBus Africa is calling for applications for its four road trips this year.
Expected to hit the road in fifteen African countries between September and November – along West African coast, in the East African Community, in the Maghreb, and once again in Southern Africa, AMPION Venture Bus is caling for IT specialists to web designers to creative entrepreneurs and just anyone in the startup scene.
The trip expects to have 160 participants during this second edition and online applications have been opened to the public today. As key actors of economic change in Africa, young women are highly encouraged to apply.
“Our goal is to reach even more entrepreneurial talent across the continent and empower young people determined to pursue world-changing ideas, using the power of digital” said Fabian Guhl, Managing Director of the AMPION, a Berlin based not-for-profit initiative.
There will be some limited room on the buses for journalists. All the events will also be open where the media can meet buspreneurs and potential investors. The best startups from the buses will be flown to Abidjan for a major entrepreneurial conference in November. Co-organised with HEC, one of the top business schools in the world, this new conference will expose our buspreneurs to an international audience.
AMPION says it is building a global community to connect all the actors from the social business and tech landscape in Africa with the rest of the world. To ensure a long lasting support to the buspreneurs, AMPION is also developing a global fellowship programme in collaboration with Afrilabs, the pan-African network of technology hubs, and VC4Africa, a leading venture capital platform. The programme includes global mentorship, incubation and office space for the best projects created during the journey.
“AMPION Africa provides not only the opportunity for driven entrepreneurs to connect with each other and kick off new ideas. It also brings together the different players in the African and international entrepreneurship scene on a broader level” said Tayo Akinyemi, Afrilabs’ director.
Guhl says the regional eco-system of startups, incubators and innovative young entrepreneurs in Africa is extremely promising and is honoured to have received a very enthusiastic invitation from stakeholders like the Rwandan Ministry for ICT and Youth. AMPION is also working with Carnegie Mellon University which will involve AMPION in the upcoming Kigali edition of “Meeting of the Minds” on CNBC Africa.
AMPION Venture Bus brings together young African change-makers and tech experts from all over the world to turn business ideas into real projects. During a 5-day competition and road trip, the “buspreneurs” create start-ups and develop innovative solutions to local challenges.
N/B: The whole rebranding thing is kinda complicated but Ampion is an independent organization which just partnered with StartupBus last year in Africa but this year its independent as an own brand though they are still friends. The two separate organizations are not the same.