LangBot, a gamified and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered language teaching chatbot, has been named the winner of the Ethiopian leg of global early-stage startups competition Seedstars World, earning the chance to pitch at the grand final in Switzerland next year.
LangBot will now join the winners from those countries at the final, where it will pitch for the chance of securing US$500,000 in equity investment. This came after seven Ethiopian startups pitched to a panel of judges at local innovation hub iceaddis.
Offline learning startup SRE was second, while on-demand taxi app ZayRide came third. The other startups pitching were individualised teaching platform Mak-Addis Tutors, chat-based money transfer service Meda Messenger, business automation startup SemayDocs, and news provision service smsCrush.
The jury comprised of 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.