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Seedstars opens call for Zimbabwean startups to pitch at Harare event

One of the world’s largest emerging market competitions for tech startups Seedstars World has opened a call for startups from Zimbabwe to apply to take part in a pitching event on 29 June at Impact Hub Harare.

Seedstars made the announcement yesterday in a press release. The winning startup will have the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that takes place annually in Switzerland, where the winner there stands the chance of getting up to $1-million in equity investment.

For the Seedstars Harare event, the organisation’s team will shortlist 10 startups. The 10 startups selected will give a five-minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights.

It is the third time that the Swiss-based organisation will hold a pitching event in Zimbabwe. Last year’s pitch was won by myRunner. The startup’s platform allows users to book their bus tickets and track their location.

The startup beat nine other startups selected to pitch, including a platform that allows couples to plan and manage their wedding and an app that allows university students to share projects, ideas, and opportunities.

In April the startup’s CEO and founder, Vusumuzi Mkhwanazi told Ventureburn that Zimbabwean startups are “making it happen regardless of what is thrown at them”.

Read more: Interest in Zimbabwe’s tech startup scene picks up, but startups still struggling
Read more: Zim startup myRunner wins ticket to pitch for up to $1m at Seedstars Summit
Read more: Students app, wedding platform among 10 startups selected for Harare Seedstars

To stand a chance at being selected to pitch at the Seedstars Harare event, entrepreneurs must be running a tech startup that is no more than two years old, must not have raised funding of more than $500 000 and must have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. In addition, the startup must show regional and global scalability.

Seedstars is this year putting extra emphasis on civic technology, a topic that has been gaining more interest over the past years from investors

This year, Seedstars is also putting extra emphasis on civic technology, a topic that has been gaining more interest over the past years from investors including Omidyar Network, which has been funding civic tech organisations around the world for over a decade.

Seedstars describes civic tech as “any use of technology to empower citizens or make government more accessible and effective”, has the potential to answer many of the African continent’s challenges.

Although the competition is open to startups from all industries, Seedstars will organise a separate civic technology workshop and panel with local and international speakers to highlight and discuss some of the key trends in the civic technology space.

Those pitching events in Africa confirmed by Seedstars (with latest confirmed dates) are:

Algiers — 28 June
Harare — 29 June
Casablanca — 6 July
Accra — 13 July
Kigali
 — 20 July
Lilongwe — 3 August
Tripoli — 7 August
Nairobi — 10 August
Lagos — 17 August
Kampala — 24 August
Dakar — 7 September
Gaborone — 14 September
Abidjan — 14 September
Dar es Salaam — 21 September
Kinshasa — 21 September
Maputo — 28 September
Doula — 28 September
Luanda — 12 October
Bamako — 20 October
South African finals — 2 November
Addis Ababa – 30 November

Applications for the Seedstars Harare event are open until next Monday (19 June) and startups can apply here.

Read more: Seedstars launches call for African tech startups to enter pitching competition


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