Global startups competition Seedstars World has selected the seven startups to pitch at the Ethiopian leg of the contest, battling it out for the chance to represent the country at the global finals and win US$500,000 equity investment.
The seven Ethiopian candidates will pitch head-to-head today at local innovation hub iceaddis, with the jury to select a winner to progress to the global finals to be held at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland next year.
At the global finals, regional winners from around the world will convene and compete for US$500,000 in equity investment.
The seven Ethiopian candidates pitching today include LangBot, a gamified and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered language teaching chatbot; Mak-Addis Tutors – a platform for individualized teaching services; Meda Messenger app, that lets users chat and transfer money from a single chat screen; and SemayDocs – a platform that enables business to digitize and effectively manage documents through automating paper based processes.
Completing the shortlist are smsCrush, which uses SMS notifications to deliver news and provide services to its users; SRE, a device bringing the power of online education to the offline world; and the ZayRide smartphone app, that provides on-demand taxi, ambulance and delivery services.
The jury comprises Marc Lepage, Africa knowledge and innovation advisor at UNDP Ethiopia; Eleni Gabre-Madhin, chief executive officer (CEO) at Ethiopia Commodity Exchange; Shem Asefaw, entrepreneur and angel investor at ShemTECH Ventures; Eyob Tolina, director at Schulze Global; and Fanny Dauchez, associate for Africa at Seedstars World.
Previous years’ winners of the Ethiopian edition of Seedstars World have included software development startup AhadooTec, for its e-learning and school management system Fidel; and last year’s winner Hulubet – an online events marketplace and aggregator.