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U-Start Cape Town conference: the hunt for Africa’s top 4 startups

Africa’s potential for growth has been recognised by global investment advisory firm, U-Start. The boutique firm will be holding a national pitch event in Cape Town, South Africa, with the goal to partner the top four startups Africa has to offer with Western European funding.

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U-Start — which has a fund of around €3.8billion under management contributed to by over 132 international investors — will further strengthen its presence in Africa with the U-Start Conference taking place on 6 March, featuring pitches from top early stage ventures in the region, as well as discussions and speeches from national and international investors.

The Cape Town conference will serve as part of a series of U-Start global conferences, designed to support the company’s commitment to “exposing emerging market and global startup prowess to high net-worth funding.”

The setup of each conference sees a series of ventures pitch their business models in successive three-to-four minute slots to a judging panel and an audience of global VC firms, accelerators, family offices, as well as local and foreign investors.

The Cape Town judging panel will include Gavin Ellis, Head of Client Acquisition, Barclays South Africa; James Durrant, UK Founder of Mambo; Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine, Catherine Townshend, Head of Endeavor South Africa; Peter Van Der Zee of IDC Venture Capital; and Stefano Guidotti, CEO of U-Start — amongst others.

Four winners will be flown to Milan on 13-14 May for the flagship U-Start conference where they will compete on the final stage for funding, with the kicker of priority access to a network of European investors.

On top of that the four winners will also receive:

  • Mentorship, incubation and a training week in Italy.
  • 1-year free access to the U-Start platform.
  • International media exposure.
  • Exclusive networking opportunities.
  • Free private desk at the U-Start winners’ Conference — Milan.

Stefano Guidotti, U-Start CEO U-Start said:

“We have long appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within Africa. The continent’s profile as a tech’ hot-bed is steadily rising, hosting multiple innovation hubs and co-creation labs across the continent. What is lacking is exposure, awareness and globally led support. Three factors we intend to champion through the Cape Town conference and global iterations of the initiative in 2014.”

The ventures that will be pitching at the Cape Town conference are:

  • Wi Group
  • Over
  • Trevolta
  • Bsavi
  • Skillpod Media
  • Mellowcabs
  • Ad Dynamo
  • Blapit
  • CapeRay Medical
  • CustomMed
  • Springleap
  • Hiifi
  • Glasschem
  • Folup
  • Human IPO
  • Brand Inscentives
  • Stroketech
  • Cairo Suspension

Previous to the Cape Town leg there was a launch conference held in São Paulo, Brazil, and the next stops will be Russia and Switzerland before the finale in Milan.

The Cape Town conference will be live-streamed and can be viewed here:

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