Seedstars Africa wraps up with 17 finalists getting to pitch their ideas

This year’s edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit has ended in Tanzania, giving 17 finalist startups an opportunity to pitch their ideas in a summit that had over 300 participants, from more than 20 countries in attendance.

The 17 startups from Africa got to pitch on stage and prepare themselves for the competition finals, scheduled to hold in April 2019, when all the finalists will travel to Switzerland to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, a week-long training program, conference and pitching competition. The trip is part of the prize for having won their Seedstars World local competitions and will have them competing with over 65 finalists from all over the world for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to 1 million USD in equity investment and other prizes.

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After two days of intense training activities, including a growth bootcamp, private mentoring sessions, and an investor forum, all attendees participated in deep discussions and learned key insights from a star-filled speaker line up, said Seedstars in a statement.

The Conference featured keynote speakers from regional and global companies who addressed a number of relevant topics in groundbreaking speeches full of valuable insights. Doreen Kessy, chief business officer at Ubongo said, “Authenticity is a rare currency that should be the guiding star when making business and personal decisions”, and Eldrid Jordaan, Founder of Govchat, spoke about the importance of humility and determination when launching and scaling a startup.

At a workshop on “Technology, innovation and research to create sustainable jobs for the youth”, led by Arthur Mattli, the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community, along with Katarina Szulenyiova, COO at Seedstars, 4 groups of 10 people each discussed the “Born Before Computer” approach of school curriculum in many African countries. The discussion also covered lack of communication between corporates and academics, to better identify the future job-creating industries, and the importance of the cultural mindset for young people when a career that actually fits their aspiration and skills, all of those having been identified by the groups as some of the root causes of the job gap problem in Africa.

Also announced at the summit was the Seedstars Health Challenge, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which Seedstars is launching a call to identify innovative solutions to Vaccine Delivery and Malaria supply chain challenges across Africa. This call aims all health tech startups working on vaccines delivery and malaria supply chain directly, as well as all startups working on solutions that could be applied. Two startups will be awarded at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland, each of them walking away with $10,000.

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