Global seed-stage startup competition Seedstars World has joined forces with Moroccan NGO StartupYourLife to host the first edition of Seedstars Africa in Casablanca in January, connecting African entrepreneurs with ecosystem players, investors and corporates.
This year’s Seedstars World saw the global contest host African heats in Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Angola and Tanzania, Senegal and Botswana, and the company is following up this expansion by hosting Seedstars Africa alongside StartupYourLife.
The event is aimed at connecting the most promising African entrepreneurs with ecosystem players, mentors, investors, corporates and other entrepreneurs across the continent. It is supported by OCP Entrepreneurship Network, the entrepreneurship arm of the largest group in Morocco.
Seedstars Africa will take place on January 28-30, culminating with a full day conference and pitch event bringing together more than 300 startup founders, successful entrepreneurs, investors, decision makers and ecosystem leaders from Africa and around the world to share insights, explore investment and collaboration opportunities and discuss how African startups can scale beyond their home markets and build global businesses.
The conference will showcase success stories of entrepreneurs who scaled successfully and look into the factors for this success as well as the elements that still need to be improved in order to allow an African startup to scale and compete on a global stage.
Prior to the the conference, a two-day invite-only bootcamp will take place, with 15 winners from the 2015 Seedstars World competition across the continent and 15 Moroccan startups working with world-class local and international mentors on improving their business models, working on their growth strategy and mastering the investor pitch.
“We know that Africa has world class entrepreneurial talent, we have seen it with our own eyes. We now want to kickstart a meaningful discussion about how these entrepreneurs can grow and compete on a global level,” said Marcello Schermer, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World.
“We will bring together the right ecosystem players, showcase the amazing entrepreneurial talent that this continent has, learn from the ones who have done it before and support startups in their quest to expand their business beyond their own borders into the rest of the African continent and beyond.”
Kenza Lahlou, founder and managing director of StartupYourLife, said his organisation had seen a tremendous number of startup talents and increasing opportunities coming from Africa that are attracting the attention of investors.
“We are convinced a lot more will come in the next two to three years. There is an incredible untapped potential on the continent that needs to be unleashed and we are determined to make it happen,” she said.
“Morocco has the perfect positioning for that, with a stable geo-political situation and an advantaging position at the crossroad of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”
Tickets for the event will go on sale soon. Interested attendees can pre-register to be informed as soon as tickets are available.