Applications have opened for the Nigerian leg of the global Seedstars World competition, which will take place on July 31 as part of Lagos Startup Week.
Seedstars World events have already taken place in Maputo, Mozambique and Cape Town, South Africa, while Disrupt Africa reported in may the Startup Week event was coming to Lagos for the first time on July 27-31.
The Seedstars competition is divided into three categories – the general competition open to all startups is to be known as the STARS track; travel startups will compete separately – following a partnership with lastminute.com – under the TRAVEL track; and a bespoke FINTECH track will take place for fintech innovators.
Regional winners will progress to the global final to be held in Switzerland in February 2016, where finalists will compete to win US$1.5 million in investment; US$500,000 for the winner of each track.
Nigerian startups are invited to apply for the Lagos leg through incubators and accelerators, via online open pre-application, and through the #UberPitch competition. The latter has been established via a partnership with taxi app Uber, which has a presence in Lagos, and allows anyone with 15 minutes and a good idea to request a ride and compete for a last minute spot in the Seedstars World competition, for free. Applications close July 12.
“We are really happy to partner with Startup Week in Nigeria as it is one of the largest and most important events for entrepreneurship in the country,” said Marcello Schermer, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
“We believe partnerships are an essential element to drive the growth of an ecosystem and we couldn’t have found a better partner for this. Together with Startup Week Lagos we can promote entrepreneurship and elevate Nigerian startups to a global stage.”
Lagos Startup Week organiser Olumide Olayinka said some of the most pivotal moments for startups and businesses have come down to “one big pitch”.
“We are committed to supporting startups and SMEs, entrepreneurs with investment opportunities, mentoring and tools to make great ideas come to life. With an annual GDP of over US$500 billion, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and is set to experience significant growth over the next couple of years as predicted by economists across the globe,” he said.
“Lagos Startup Week hopes to bring together major industry players and create a platform to harness opportunities and encourage growth of the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.”