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Up to 10 startups will be chosen to pitch and stand a chance of winning up to US$500 000 in equity investment at next year’s finale, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland.
Other opportunities up for grabs include an equity deal worth US$500 000 for the best travel startup by lastminute.com Group and best fintech seed-stage company by a yet-to-be-announced financial institution. On top of that, European-based satellite companies Inmarsat and AP-Swiss are providing a grant worth US$50 0000 for the best space-related startup.
“In the past years we have observed a strong entrepreneurial drive and digital revolution bubbling in Senegal,” explains Gregory Pepper, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World. “We are very excited to discover the initiatives developed by the local pioneers.”
Last year, a company which designs tablets for informal and small business owners in Africa walked away as Dakar’s favoured startup of 2014.
This year, Seedstars World has a local Ambassador representing the initiative throughout the year, Emmanuelle Bouiti, lead and community manager at JokkoLabs — an innovation hub in Dakar. Bouiti elaborates on the significance of the hub:
Based on an inclusive innovation approach and open collaboration, Jokkolabs allows entrepreneurs, creators and innovators to grasp opportunities offered to them, free their talent, participate actively in the community and develop their projects rapidly.
Some notable startups that have been recognised by Seedstars World in Africa this year include South Africa’s mobile job-sourcing platform Giraffe, transport app MyQ from Nigeria, Ghana’s church admin app Asoriba and Kenya’s Affordable greenhouse company Illuminum Greenhouse Kenya.