Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to South-Africa to find the best startups from across the country.
After scouting the global winner from 2016, Giraffe, in South Africa the competition will be bigger and better than ever before. In partnership with Standard Bank, Seedstars World will host pre-selection events in Cape Town, Durban and Soweto and invite the top 3 from each city to the grand finale hosted at the Standard Bank Incubator in Johannesburg.
In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to 65 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 400 employees worldwide.
Applications are open now on www.seedsatrsworld.com for the pre-selection events held in Cape Town on May 27, Durban on June 8, and Soweto on June 14. Companies applying need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars World team is searching for one additional criterion – the startup’s regional and global scalability.
“With Giraffe as the global winner of our competition, we have proven that South Africa has world class entrepreneurial talent. This year is about casting our net even wider and giving the opportunity to the whole country to participate and become part of a global journey. ” says Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World. He adds “We have found a great partner in Standard Bank who is investing a lot into making this ecosystem competitive and inclusive on a local and global level”
“Seedstars World has been a great partner to mobilise support and exposure for the Startup community in South Africa and the continent. Given the success of our partnership in South Africa in 2015, we are proud to once again be the country sponsor of Seedstars World. We look forward to another great year as we expand the Seedstars competition to include three provinces, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.” Says Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank incubator.
After the pre-selection events in Cape-Town, Durban and Soweto, up to 10 of the best seed stage startups in South-Africa will be invited to the grand finale in Johannesburg to pitch for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that takes place every year in Switzerland.
Last year, South-Africa was represented by Giraffe, who was announced the global winner of Seedstars World’s 2015 edition. The global summit had the winning startups from 54 countries where they were introduced to mentors, investors and rounds of pitch trainings before they did their final pitch in front of more than 1000 people at the Swiss Tech center. “The award has given us massive exposure, which is something we really need, and there are a lot of investors and potential partners contacting us in order to collaborate. But this award is not only affecting Giraffe, it’s also putting South Africa on the map” says Shafin Anwarsha, co-founder of Giraffe.
In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World is closely working with Standard Bank, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. In addition, Entrepreneur Traction is acting as the South African Ambassador for Seedstars World, which is also supported by Payfast, Red Bull, Simodisa, Silicon Cape, Spin Street House, Mancosa University, Durban Hub, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa and the Innovation Hub / eKasi Labs in Soweto.