Seedstars to open Cape Town Seedspace hub


Global early-stage startups competition Seedstars World is merging with Cape Town-based co-working space Spin Street House to launch Seedspace hub, allowing it to provide hands-on support to the local startup community.

Seedstars World, which this year picked an African winner in the form of Ghanaian startup AgroCenta at the final in Switzerland, has already begun its tour of emerging markets to pick startups for next year’s event, choosing local winners in Egypt and Tunisia.

The company opened its first MENA-based Seedspace hub in Cairo, Egypt, last month, and will be launching in Cape Town on June 21 with the support of the Swiss Embassy and Payfast.

It will take the total number of Seedspace hubs across the world to eight, including ones in Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Further launches are planned.

Entrepreneurs based at Seedspace will have access to a global community of changemakers, which includes investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators and governmental entities. Seedspace will be where Seedstars deploys the support provided by this community in their different stages of business – idealisation, seed, early-stage and scaling.

“For a long time we’ve been active in the Cape Town ecosystem, organising our Seedstars World startup pitch competition and engaging with ecosystem actors like Spin Street House, which played a vital role in our settlement in the city. Now, by fusing this local hub with Seedspace globally we aim to consolidate our activities in Cape Town and South Africa, providing the local ecosystem not just with a space, but also access to a robust international community,” said Romulo Navarrete, head of operations at Seedspace.

“Spin Street House has been a major player in the industry for many years and has enabled a solid community around it. Being community focused just like Seedspace, it made great sense that we joined forces to provide a greater impact to the members as well as adding Cape Town to the Seedspace global map.”

The launch event on June 21 will bring feature speakers including Ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia and Swaziland Helene Budliger Artieda; Vuyisa Qabaka, founding partner at Entrepreneur Traction; Dr Yaseen Khan, founder at EMGuidance; Claudia Makadristo, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars; and Nathan Heller, co-founder of Spin Street House and experience manager at Seedspace. Tickets are available here.

“We aim to have 15 hubs around the world by the end of 2018,” said Navarrete. “This expansion is pivotal so that we can bring more impact to local ecosystems while interconnecting the different locations, creating access to an international community of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and corporates interested in innovation.”

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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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