On December 13th, Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focused only in emerging markets, closed its annual tour in Africa with the Seedstars Africa Summit 2018 conference, for more than 300 participants, from more than 20 countries, among startups, different stakeholders, media and general public.
After two days of intense training activities, including a growth bootcamp, private mentoring sessions, and an investor forum, all attendees participated in deep discussions and learned key insights from a star-filled speaker line up.
The conference featured keynote speakers from regional and global companies who addressed a number of relevant topics in groundbreaking speeches full of valuable insights. Doreen Kessy, Chief Business Officer at Ubongo said “authenticity is a rare currency that should be the guiding star when making business and personal decisions”, and Eldrid Jordaan, Founder of Govchat, spoke about the importance of humbleness and determination when launching and scaling a startup.
The “technology, innovation and research to create sustainable jobs for the youth” workshop, led by Arthur Mattli, the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community, along with Katarina Szulenyiova, Chief Operating Officer at Seedstars, had 4 groups of 10 people each discussing the “Born Before Computer” approach of school curriculum in many African countries, the lack of communication between corporates and academics to better identify the future job-creating industries, and the importance of the cultural mindset for young people when a career that actually fits their aspiration and skills, all of those having been identified by the groups as some of the root causes of the job gap problem in Africa.
There was also time for the 17 finalist startups from Africa to pitch on stage and prepare themselves for the competition finals.
In April 2019, all the finalists will travel to Switzerland to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, a week-long training program, conference and pitching competition. The trip is part of the prize for having won their Seedstars World local competitions and will have them competing with +65 finalists from all over the world for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to USD$1 million in equity investment and other prizes.
Notably, the Seedstars Health Challenge—supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which Seedstars is launched called to identify innovative solutions to Vaccine Delivery and Malaria supply chain challenges across Africa.
This call aims all health tech startups working on vaccines delivery and malaria supply chain directly. Two winning startups will be awarded at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland, each of them walking away with USD$10,000 (roughly UGX37,161,000).