Global startup pitching competition Seedstars World has announced it will host an extra competition in Johannesburg in July, where startups from both the South African Seedstars rounds will compete to be crowned the country’s best startup.
Disrupt Africa reported in April Seedstars World revealed it would host heats of the global competition in 12 African cities, and increase from last year’s competition which visited only eight African locations.
The African heats of the competition kicked off in May in Maputo, marking the first time the touring competition has visited Mozambique.
While Cape Town was to be the only South African event, Seedstars World today announced it has signed a partnership with Standard Bank, to host a second South African heat in Johannesburg on July 17.
The shortlisted startups from the Cape Town competition will progress to the Johannesburg event, where competitors from both South African legs will go head-to-head for the title of “Best Startup in South Africa”.
“We have found an ideal partner to support entrepreneurs in South Africa. Together with Standard Bank we can find the best entrepreneurs from around the country and give them the opportunity to get visibility both within and outside of South Africa. This is the first year we are doing both major cities in South Africa and we believe this is the right approach to harness the full entrepreneurial potential of South Africa,” said Marcello Schermer, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
The partnership is one of a number of efforts by Standard Bank to support entrepreneurs in South Africa. In April, Standard Bank launched two business incubators in Johannesburg, providing entrepreneurs with mentorship and the facilities to successfully test, develop, and deploy their innovations.
“We are excited to support this competition as it aligns to our commitment to growing the SME sector. South Africa needs to develop more entrepreneurs as they play a vital role to economic growth and job creation. We understand the issues that entrepreneurs face on a daily basis, especially when it comes to access to market. It is through initiatives like these where we can help entrepreneurs to turn great ideas into reality,” said Jayshree Naidoo, Standard Bank incubator head.
The overall winner of the South African events will be invited to Switzerland in March 2016 – alongside the other regional winners – to compete at the Seedstars World final, for a US$500,000 equity investment prize.