SA startups to pitch for on-the-spot investment at Sparkup! Live

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The Sparkup! Live competition, which offers selected startups the chance to pitch for immediate investment of up to ZAR1 million (US$85,000), takes place in Cape Town tonight, with five startups pitching for on-the-spot funding.

Disrupt Africa reported in March applications had opened for Sparkup! Live, which has run alongside the annual Net Prophet conference in Cape Town since 2011 and involves three days of intense business grooming followed by a live audience investor pitch session.

The Sparkup! weekend ended yesterday, with five startups selected to give three-minute pitches to a panel of four angel investors, who can then make cash offers for equity in the businesses. The event takes place from 6pm at the 22Seven Vintage Theatre, with tickets still available here.

The five startups are Tyrenet, Erato, Intel World, Vula Mobile and Gummie, who will look to follow in the footsteps of Ekaya, 8Bit and Shopstar, who all earned funding last year.

“We’re thrilled to have made it into the Sparkup! final. The weekend programme was incredibly valuable for us and we are really grateful to all of the mentors who have been so generous with their insights,” Dylan Edwards, business lead at Vula Mobile, told Disrupt Africa.

“The final is a great platform to get in front of an audience of potential partners. Of course we are going into the event looking for investment to help us scale, but we are also hoping to meet people that can help us with advice and introducing us to potential customers.”

Ksenia Mardina, founder of Gummie, said she was “honoured and excited” to participate in the final.

“We’re looking forward to the evening of brilliant pitches, tough questions and valuable advice. But most importantly, we’re excited for the evening of great fun! I am aiming to raise funds tonight, meet new people and get exposure for my brainchild,” she said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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