Seedstars has partnered with First Growth Ventures’ founders Tamim El Zein and Maxime Bouan to launch a $100mn sub-Saharan Africa venture fund.
The fund will focus on early-stage investments from USD 250 thousand to USD 5 million in the most promising innovative ventures across sectors and countries. The fund is the first of a series of regional funds Seedstars will launch in the coming years to continue the mission of accelerating and supporting entrepreneurs at all stages.
According to Pierre-Alain Masson co-founder at Seedstars, “We are very proud to be supporting all these entrepreneurs and we’ll continue to expand our activities with the launch of new acceleration and training programs across the world. We’ll also be announcing more funding to these unbelievable entrepreneurs that we have seen on stage all week.”
Seedstars is a Swiss-based group with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through a variety of worldwide events, acceleration programs and competitions, including the largest startup competition in emerging markets (Seedstars World Competition), Seedstars aims at fostering impact investing and impact entrepreneurship over the world.
Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focusing on emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, held its grand finale with the sixth edition of the Global Seedstars Summit. Over 1000 people attended the event in Lausanne, Switzerland, together with startups, investors, mentors, and corporates, from all over the globe.
After covering 80+ countries throughout 2018 with local and regional competitions, Seedstars invited all winners to Switzerland. They had the chance to compete for different prizes, including up to $500K in equity investment and the title of Seedstars Global Winner.
Blended, the leading school platform in Latin America, improves communication between schools and families with a simple technology. Federico Hernandez won the most prestigious prize dedicated to emerging economies’ startups: up to $500,000 in equity investment and unique growth opportunities.
On top of the $500,000 investment prize for the Seedstars Global Winner, Seedstars and its partners awarded 7 additional prizes:
- Public Prize by Vaud: the Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI) allowed the Summit attendees to vote for the best tech start-ups among the Seedstars Global Competition winners. YNMO from Saudi Arabia is a SaaS that allows disabilities service providers including schools, centers & clinics to design and monitor individualized treatment plans.
- Labeskey / Schoolap, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, won the Transforming Education Prize by TRECC and the School of Management Fribourg, winning access to the Seedstars Growth Program worth $50,000. The online platform provides tools to improve the education system with school administration management modules.
- TAG Heuer, Seedstars World official timekeeper, partnered with Seedstars Summit to reward the Innovation Prize to Wobot. The Indian startup allows companies to automate their surveillance systems with Artificial Intelligence.
- Seedstars Vaccine Delivery Challenge was awarded to the South African startup Iyeza, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. $10,000 will be provided to improve their web platform for the delivery of Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) vaccine to young women.
- Also with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Seedstars Malaria Challenge was awarded to Medsaf, through their platform, the Nigerian startup connects pharmacies and hospitals with safe and cost-effective medication.
- Along with Seedstars, Merck awarded the Life Science Prize to Oxpecker Labs from Hong Kong. They will participate in the Merck Acceleration program and scale up their non-invasive sweat sensor to help prevent dehydration and heat strokes.
- 7keema, the first on-demand home nursing services of its kind from Egypt, won the Rising Tide Foundation Empowerment Prize. They won access to the Seedstars Growth Program as well as an equity investment.
Additionally, 8 startups from developed markets looking to expand or solve problems in emerging markets pitched on the Breakout Stage. Tag Heuer crowned DOT Glasses winner and Noisypeak runner-up. hiLyte came out third and was supported by our partner Logitech.