Seedstars World to kick off African leg in Maputo this month

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Global seed-stage emerging markets startup competition Seedstars World will begin this year’s African leg with its first ever event in Maputo, Mozambique, on May 26.

Seedstars World has this year expanded its competition to more than 50 countries, with Disrupt Africa reporting last month 12 African cities will host regional heats, up from eight last year.

The tour will begin in Maputo at the end of this month, where 10 startups will compete to represent the country at the Seedstars World competition and win up to US$500,000 in equity, before going on to South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Botswana.

“I am very excited to have our first event of Seedstars World 2015 in Maputo. This event is the kickoff of our Africa tour and we couldn’t have picked a more interesting location. The startup space in Mozambique has lots of potential and I can’t wait to see which company will impress the jury and fly to Geneva to compete on the global stage,” said Marcello Schermer, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World.

Up to 12 of the best startups in Mozambique will be invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete at the final event, with the local competition being held in partnership with the American Cultural Centre, Ideário, IdeiaLab and UX.

This year, for the first time, Seedstars World is focusing on the travel and fintech industries, creating industry-specific tracks in parallel to the general Seedstars World competition, which is renamed the STARS track.

Regional winners in those industries will compete for a US$500,000 equity prize in their track, with all regional winners invited back to Switzerland to pitch at the final event in February 2016 in Switzerland.

The total amount of investment available to be won is US$1.5 million, taking into account the initial US$500,000 and various prizes to be won outside the tracks.

Seedstars World is also looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and develop profitable products for the global market. The company has partnered with the likes of MEST, Google for Entrepreneurs and Microsoft to identify fast-growing and pioneering startup scenes.

“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship,” said Seedstars World chief executive officer (CEO) Alisee de Tonnac.

“We look forward to seeing how the different startup scenes have evolved in a year and the new startups in the country.”

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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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