Ghanaian startup Beam heads for Seedstars World Final
Seedstars World (SSW), the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast growing startups, is bringing Ghana-based startup Beam to Geneva for its Final Event on February 4. Beam won Seedstars Accra last June and is among the 36 startups that will compete and pitch for USD 500K equity investment.
More than 1,500 startups from Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America applied to participate in Seedstars World. During its world tour in 2014, Nellie Horn and Julien Berthomier, Seedstars World’s Global Scouts, hosted local competitions in 36 countries to find the best locally-grown startups. After nine months on the road, Seedstars World will be welcoming all the startup finalists for the Grand Final in Switzerland. Countries represented at Seedstars World include Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Iran, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded by Alisee de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition is supported by the venture builder Seedstars SA. After its first successful edition in 2013 across 20 cities, SSW expanded its competition massively to more than 30 countries. Every regional event featured up to 20 startups, during which they had to prove their worth in six minutes of pitching time and withstand the questions from a local jury of experts (investors, accelerator directors & successful entrepreneurs). Regional winners are then invited back to Geneva for the Grand Final. “Seedstars World is the culmination of a nine month search for the world’s most innovative tech startup outside Silicon Valley.” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “Seedstars World will hold its competition every year and we are expecting to grow exponentially to all the corners of the world."
Startup finalists will take part in a three-day bootcamp organized in partnership with EPFL, the leading European engineering school. International investors and mentors from top accelerators like BBooster, The Founder’s Institute and Chinaccelerator, as well as from the business strategy consultancy Galixo, will coach them on their business model.
The winner of the global startup competition will be announced during the Final Event hosted on the first day of the Lift Conference, one of the top innovation and tech conferences in Europe. The Seedstars World winner will be chosen by a jury composed of top investors such as Johnny el Hachem, the CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Seedstars World’s investment partner, Jose Marin the founder of Serendipity Investments and Jessica Thorell of Investment AB Kinnevik; and top entrepreneurs such as, Jens Lapinski, the managing director of Techstars and Marco Corradino, the co-founder of Bravofly Group.
Seedstars World looks for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. In Accra, Beam enables safe money transfer via Bitcoin. After winning the regional event in Accra on June 5th, Nikunj Handa, Kitiwa’s CEO stated: “Seedstars Accra was already an amazing opportunity and we’re excited to go to Switzerland. The global competition will give us the necessary platform to take our startup even further.”
For this second edition, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business angels, journalists and start-ups enthusiasts are expected to join for the final chapter of the SSW 2014 tour. During the first edition in February 2014, around 500 people participated, with the ex-VP of Alibaba, Porter Erisman, showcasing the type of opportunities to be found in emerging countries.