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Seedstars to expand local bootcamps, add more benefits in 2019 competition


Seedstars World, one of the largest startup competitions for emerging markets, returns next month to Africa for the seventh time and will this year have more benefits to those that attend — including offering more participants a chance to attend local bootcamps.

This year Seedstars will visit 29 African countries — including Sierra Leone and Cabo Verde for the first time (see below for the complete list).

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In a statement on Monday (27 May) Seedstars said it had implemented some significant changes to the format and will organise a number of side activities.

The organisation will this year expand the local bootcamps it offers in each country it visits, inviting up to 30 pre-selected startups to participate. The bootcamp will run prior to each event.

The Seedstars competition will offer more participants a chance to attend local bootcamps

In addition, in partnership with the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), Seedstars will also host a series of workshops specifically targeted at local investors.

And in 2019 Seedstars will grant the top 10 startups from each local pitch, at least one-month access to its investment readiness programme. The programme connects entrepreneurs to global experts, mentors, training materials and investors.

Seedstars said it will aim to achieve gender balance on all levels in its African events, by inviting more women to mentor startups, sit on jury panels, and speak at events and by increasing the number of women startups it selects.

Meanwhile, Seedstars said its $100-million Seedstars Africa Ventures investment fund will be active later this year, making all applicants eligible to receive early stage investment (see this story). In addition, this fund will also cater to the Seedstars Alumni startups from the previous years.

How participants can enter

To be invited to the training session and to pitch during the Seedstars World events startups must have raised less than $500 000 in funding and built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: potential for regional and global scalability.

Besides representing their country at the Seedstars Africa Summit, the winner will get a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Switzerland, to compete at the Seedstars Summit for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to $500,000 in equity investments and other prizes.

After careful screening, the Seedstars team will shortlist up to 10 of the best seed-stage startups per city to participate in training and one-on-one meetings with investors.

The applications are open for several cities (see the below list) and startups are invited to apply here.

This year Seedstars will visit the following cities (note: dates are subject to change):

21 June – Freetown, Sierra Leone
28 June – Nairobi, Kenya
3 July – Cairo, Egypt
5 July – Kigali, Rwanda
12 July – Lusaka, Zambia
17 July – Casablanca, Morocco
19 July – Lagos, Nigeria
25 July – Praia, Cape Verde
2 August – Bissau, Guinea Bissau
8 August – Accra, Ghana
9 August – Abidjan, Ivory Coast
22 August – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
30 August – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
6 September – Luanda, Angola
12 September – Banjul, Gambia
18 September – Kinshasa, DRC
3 October – Maputo, Mocambique
4 October – Bamako, Mali
11 October – Douala, Cameroon
17 October – Port Louis, Mauritius
17 October – Tripoli, Libya
18 October – Kampala, Uganda
24 October – Johannesburg, SA
24 October – Tunis, Tunisia
25 October – Harare, Zimbabwe
1 November – Cape Town, SA
8 November – Gaborone, Botswana
15 November – Lilongwe, Malawi
15 November – Bujumbura, Burundi

Read more: Seedstars announces $100m fund to invest in African tech startups [Updated]
Read more: Argentinian edtech Blended crowned 2019 Seedstars Global Winner
Read more: Here are the 12 finalists who will pitch for up to $500k in the 2019 Seedstars World prize

Disclosure: Ventureburn is a Seedstars media partner. Ventureburn editor Stephen Timm is in Lausanne, Switzerland to attend today’s Seedstars Summit as a guest of Seedstars.

Featured image: Seedstars finalists at the 2019 Seedstars World Summit (Seedstars via Facebook)

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