South Africa’s Standard Bank has partnered with Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes to help spotlight South Africa top entrepreneur.
Standard Bank says this move aligns to its commitment to growing the SME sector in South Africa as entrepreneurship plays a vital role to economic growth and job creation.
“We understand the issues that entrepreneurs face on a daily basis, especially when it comes to access to market. It is through initiatives like these where we can help entrepreneurs to turn great ideas into reality,” says Jayshree Naidoo, Standard Bank Incubator Head.
Standard Bank is not new to startups. Recently the bank launched incubators across the country to offer entrepreneurs access to quality business support and development. Apart from Standard Bank, other new partners include Payfast will offer catering during the event, IBM will offer USD 1,000 or cloud credits for 12 months to the best app, ignitar will provide 2 hours of free PR consultation, Daddy O will offer free office space and board rooms, and Geist Agency will deliver digital agency services.
Last year, Seedstars World announced lastminute.com group as partner which will award, on top of the initial equity prize, up to USD 500K equity investment to the best travel startup and CEO of lastminute.com group, Francesco Signoretti, will be attending the Cape Town event as a jury member.
Also Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and AP-Swiss, the Swiss platform of the European Space Agency have backed the Space Prize, which will award a USD 50K grant to the best startup developing an application or service that uses satellite technology.
The shortlisted entrepreneurs from the pitching competition in Cape Town on June 30th will advance to the final round in Johannesburg on July 17th to compete for the title of “Best Startup in South Africa”. The winner will be invited back to Switzerland in March 2016 to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World final event and compete for a USD 500’000 equity investment prize.
In addition to identifying the best seed-stage startups in emerging countries, Seedstars World is also looking for entrepreneurs that solve regional/global issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight away from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship”, explains Alisée de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “We look forward to seeing how the different startup scenes have evolved in a year and we are excited to discover the new startups in South Africa!”