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Swiss-based global entrepreneurship platform Seedstars will next year strengthen its focus on sourcing investment deals for startups and to expanding its network of co-working hubs for Seedstars alumni.
Seedstars regional manager for Africa, Claudia Makadristo revealed the plans to Ventureburn at the Seedstar’s Africa regional summit which was held in Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday (14 December).
Although the platform will continue with the pitching competition — which Makadristo described as the gatekeeper of everything that happens at Seedstars — the organisation plans to next year shift its focus to doing more investment deals and adding more Seedspaces.
Makadristo hinted that the next locations for Seedspaces will likely be in “priority places” like Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam.
The spaces she added, are merely “a framework” for all the other initiatives that the organisation plans to do, with the ultimate goal being to grow these into regional hubs in Africa.
The organisation already has Seedpsaces in Lagos, Abidjan, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Addis Ababa, while two other spaces in Cairo and Casablanca are said to be “in the making”.
There are currently six active Seedspace hubs operating in Africa
“Up until now in many countries we only come in once a year and then we are out,” she said. “I think in some countries where we have alumni we have this solid network of people who actually want to do stuff. The interesting part would be to see how can we have a longer term presence than just coming in and going out,” she added.
The idea, she said, is for have a Seedspace in every country. While some of the spaces are owned by Seedstars, the platform also partners with already existing spaces.
“We want to give them (alumni) a space where they can come together, where they know if I want to go to Lagos tomorrow, I don’t only have a space, I have a community, a network that I know, that they are familiar with, that they want to work with and get to know,” she added.
Ventureburn was a guest of Seedstars at last week’s Seedstars Africa regional summit.
Featured image: World map indicating locations of Seedspaces