AMPION Venture Bus trips underway in Morocco, West Africa

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The first two AMPION Venture Bus trips are underway, with the first trip to be held in Morocco wrapping up this weekend and the West African leg beginning today.

Disrupt Africa reported last year AMPION ran buses in West, Southern, East and North Africa between October and December 2014, with the concept extended this year to include five buses.

The first AMPION Venture Bus tour to take place in Morocco began on September 12, beginning with an event at the Université Internationale d’Agadir, with AMPION chief executive officer (CEO) Fabian Guhl introducing the concept and talks from Aline Mayard, co-founder of The Blue House, Younes Qassimi, co-founder of The Nexties, and Mehdi Berrada, co-founder of alto|Solution.

The bus has subsequently been to Taliouine and Marrakesh, with the final stop Casablanca. The winner will be announced this weekend after startups formed on the trip pitch to a judging panel.

Meanwhile, the West Africa leg of the Venture Bus begins today, passing through Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The bus will arrive in Lagos on September 23 in time for DEMO Africa, at which the overall winner of the AMPION West African bus will have the chance to pitch.

AMPION said earlier this year the five buses – which will run through 14 African countries with 200 participants – are looking to build 40 new startups. Each tour is a seven-day full-immersion programme for developing entrepreneurial skills and creating new ventures in a team-based competition set on a bus.

“We believe, home-grown entrepreneurship and startups tackling social needs are the best way to sustainable growth on the continent,” said Guhl.

The first two years of the AMPION Venture Bus programme produced over 30 African tech startups, working in healthcare, education, fintech, public transport, citizen engagement, tourism, and water sanitation.

The company is also partnering different groups to set a focus on selected topics on each Venture Bus, with experts to advise entrepreneurs along the way and potentially facilitate investment by their company into the developed startups.

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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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