Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes is coming to Rwanda for the fifth time. With the support of the local hosts, Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali and KLab, Seedstars will be holding a dynamic pitch event on the 20th of July, from 4 to 9 pm.
The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars Kigali event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: the startup’s regional and global scalability. With a strong network of international partners, such as Merck, SPECo, Enel or Continental (amongst others) the competition organizers are looking for smart startups that tackle regional issues and develop profitable and sustainable products for the global market.
“Rwanda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has shown a lot of progress over the past few years. In many ways, they have shown the example when it comes to lifting up structural barriers for entrepreneurs, putting the ecosystem on the map and creating a favourable environment for businesses. We are extremely excited to return to Kigali and hope to witness the results of this reflecting in the quality of the entrepreneurs we will select to participate in the Seedstars World competition” says Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars.
Applications are open until July 11th 2018 and startups are invited to apply online at Seedstars Kigali website. After a careful screening, the Seedstars team will shortlist 10 of the best seed-stage startups to pitch on July 20th 2018 for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland.
“Seedstars has been one of those competitions that exposes African entrepreneurs to their potential investors, potential clients and creates exposure for them on the International market” explains Aphrodice Mutangana, General Manager, KLab.
It’s Seedstars’ goal to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets especially targeting solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals. With that in mind, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage startups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over USD 92M collectively, providing employment to more than 2.100 employees worldwide.
The 10 startups selected will give a five minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights. Members of the public and press are welcome to come join the fun and should register on the above Seedstars Kigali website as well!