StartupBus ready to roll
From 17 to 21 November 2013 the first StartupBus will cross African soil. Out of over 200 applicants, 15 African and 15 international entrepreneurs were chosen to participate in this unique journey and will be accompanied by 10 mentors. The opening event will take place at the HyperCube Hub Harare on November 17th.
It is followed by visits to the Hub Johannesburg, the Branson Centre and Seed Engine in Johannesburg as well as Bandwidth Barn and the Hubspace in Cape Town. On November 22nd, the "Buspreneurs" will join the Global Entrepreneurship Week "Get in The Ring" with over 300 conference participants.
The meetings with successful entrepreneurs and mentors off the bus and the teamwork "on the road" will help the StartupBus participants to develop their own innovative startup ideas. Ultimately they will pitch in front of a jury at the final event in Cape Town. Media representatives from BBC and A 24 Media will accompany the "Buspreneurs" on their journey.
A24 Media publishes its weekly pan-African TV program via Reuters and will cover the StartupBus Africa tour in a five minute special. During the opening event in Harare the "Buspreneurs" will meet local business representatives and technology entrepreneurs of Zimbabwe in a panel discussion.
At the next destination in Johannesburg on November 19th, representatives of the internet accelerator Seed Engine will provide a comprehensive overview on the African startup industry under the heading "Your Startup Accelerated". Eric Osiakwan, director of Ghana Cyber City, Yossi Hasson, co-founder of SYNAQ and Justin Pratt, co-founder of islabs.co.za, will accompany the event as mentors and will be available for questions. The next day, a workshop "One Minute To Spin It" at the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship will put the participants' skills under scrutiny to pitch an idea within a very short period of time. Richard Branson himself will attend the final pitch of the StartupBus Africa entrepreneurs in Cape Town via Google Hangouts.
U-Start will sponsor a lunch and online vouchers for their platform to the StartupBus Team in Cape Town. The final conference "Get in The Ring" will have visits from renowned political and industrial representatives such as Vusi Thembekwayo, who Australia's former Prime Minister John Howard once titled as the "Rock Star of public speaking".
So far StartupBus Africa was able to win over the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, PwC consulting, Africa Internet Accelerator and Seed Engine as sponsors. Individual supporters who want to aid the cause of StartupBus Africa can contribute through the crowdfunding-campaign on Indiegogo (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/startupbus-africa). Future donations will directly benefit scholarships for top-level applicants whose participation on the StartupBus cannot yet be guaranteed due to travel and lodging expenses.