Ten Kenyan startups have been selected to pitch at the Nairobi leg of the global Seedstars World competition, with the winner securing a place in the grand final and the chance to compete for up to US$500,000 in equity investment and other prizes.
The global Seedstars World competition will select national winners from all over the world, including around 30 African countries, and bring them together at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland next year.
Ten Kenyan startups will compete in a pitch event at Nailab on Friday, June 28 to represent the country at the final, as well as receive access to a three-month investment readiness programme. Kenya was previously represented by Bluewave Technologies, an affordable insurance platform.
The startups selected to pitch include diagnostics solution Ilara Health, point of sale financing company Julla, agri-tech startup Lentera, emergency response service Nurse-In-Hand, and blockchain-based payments solution Pesabase.
Also pitching will be digital financial marketplace Pezesha, blockchain-based farm management solution Shamba Records, cargo-hailing application Smatbeba, employee payments solution WorkPay, and micro-retail management platform Tanda.
The closed-door event will have no external audience and the winner will be chosen by an all-female jury panel.
“It is a Seedstars first to have an all women judging panel. This is part of our efforts to increase women participation at all levels. We are extremely excited to work with this jury panel on selecting the most promising startup in Nairobi and we believe that the closed door event format will allow us to ask some more sensitive and in-depth questions to the entrepreneurs,” said Claudia Makadristo, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars.
Seedstars has also joined forces with the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) to host an angel investor meetup prior to the event. The four-hour session will be a unique opportunity for investors to network and gain key insights and access to Seedstars and ABAN deal flow. ABAN will be represented by Viktoria Ventures.
Meanwhile, the US$100 million Seedstars Africa investment fund will be active later this year, making all applicants eligible to receive early-stage investment. This fund will also cater to alumni startups from previous years.