“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets. The online format of the competition allowed us to dream and go bigger as we reached a larger audience and invited more startups from all the cities of each country to apply. Now, we can’t wait for our local winners to represent their countries in the webisodes of the regional stage of the competition. I’d like to invite everyone to follow their journey and root for their favorite startup from the different corners of the world,” shares Eugenia Shevchenko, Lead of the Seedstars World Competition 2020.
Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions. This year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications. From there, 1,200 startups participated in the Online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.
The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment.
For the Africa region, there are 25 startups moving on to the next stage. This year, the SSW20 local winner of Cameroon is AgriTech AIT Group (http://pfms.cm/), a startup that brings all stakeholders on board to build the next unicorn venture with SMART disease detection/rapid diagnostics in real-time.. As a local winner, AIT Group is set to compete alongside the other local winners in the Africa region. And only one will emerge as the regional winner moving on to the Grand Finale.
Seedstars Africa Regional Manager Lorraine Davis shares, “It has been inspiring seeing entrepreneurs from across the region soldier on through the pandemic and continue to work hard on their solutions. We have met incredible entrepreneurs and are excited to see them competing at the regional stage for a chance to be at the Seedstars Grande Finale in 2021. We wish all the local winners the best of luck for the regional stage competition.”
The regional stage of the competition will include a 1 month long Investment Readiness Program, modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready. It will consist of: action-driven webinars on key business metrics; online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities; and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.
Online episodes for the regional stage of the competition will be aired at the end of January 2021. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the Online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities. Seedstars The Documentary is a feature film featuring the company’s vision to give a voice to the game changers of the developing world.
"They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds." - Mexican proverb
ABOUT SEEDSTARS WORLD COMPETITION
In 2013, Seedstars started as Seedstars World, an initiative created by founding partners Pierre-Alain Masson and Alisée de Tonnac who, equipped with a backpack and passion to change the world, set on a world tour across 20 entrepreneurial ecosystems to scout for the most promising early-stage startups and build the largest entrepreneurial community in emerging markets.
The first startup competition in 13 countries was a massive success and gained attention on a global scale. It showed to the world the untapped potential of developing economies, innovative solutions and talented entrepreneurs willing to transform their communities. This led to larger tours for the following six years, bringing together thousands of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and experts. Today, Seedstars World is the largest startup competition in emerging markets.
However, in 2020, things are taking on a new twist. Reimagining its World Tour online, Seedstars will now digitally travel across the globe for a 9-month world tour to scout for the best early-stage startups in 90+ countries, organizing 100+ online local competitions. One winner will be selected to represent each country and will be invited to attend one of the 5 Regional stage competitions, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Regional winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Grand Finale, the competition’s final happening each year in April, where startups compete for up to $500,000 in investment.