Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Rwandan round to a successful close during Seedstars Kigali. The event took place this Tuesday at Rwanda Online HQ premises and 12 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.
The Rwanda competition was carried out with the support of local lead partner, Rwanda Online and local ambassador Aphrodice Mutangana, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. Further support was provided by regional partners Microsoft4Afrika and Intel. Other supporters included Lionesses of Africa and Brussels Airline, amongst others.
The local winner, Kasha, a startup that sells and delivers women’s health products confidentially over a widely accessible mobile retail platform, was selected the best startup in Rwanda for its online/offline women’s health care retail solution. “Kasha exists because women are the biggest business opportunity and the way women access health products today is an uncomfortable and embarrassing experience. Technology can enable confidential access to women’s health products at scale. I am incredibly excited to have won seedstars Kigali! The entrepreneurs that have won across Africa are all driven to change the face of business and technology globally,” explains Joanna Bichsel, co-founder and CEO of Kasha. As a part of the prize, Kasha will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2017, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 60 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment.
Quick Ride, came second and MindSky grabbed the last spot in the top 3. The other startups invited to pitch were SteadyBits, Blue Innovation ltd, SEGEN AFRIKA thru MobiCASH ltd, Dope Apps, UPlus Mutual Partners, QuickRide Ltd, Gawana, GO, VugaPay, Kasha, MindSky, Raisins Ltd.
The 12 startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury, including Tiago Borges Coelho, CO-Founder at UX Information Technology, John Kimani, Developer Ecosystem Program Manager at Google, Kevin Rudahinduka, Head of Elec.& Digital Channels at Bank of Kigali Limited, Kevin Rudahinduka, Head of Elec.&Digital Channels at Bank of Kigali Limited, Lydie Hakizimana, Co-Founder at Happy Hearts Preschool, Michelle Mboha, Financial Architect at Unreasonable EastAfrica and Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager Africa at Seedstars World.
In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World has been closely working with kLabs, who is representing the initiative throughout the year. “We are so happy to welcome Seedstars World community/family in the country of thousand hills and million smiles. Host seedstars Africa means a lot to us as Rwanda has been a focal point and home of startups,” says APHRODICE Mutangana, General manager chez at kLab.
The SSW Kigali event is the last local event of the SSW Africa tour and also serves as the opening event for the SSW Africa Conference in Kigali. The event will last for three days and is culminating on December 9th with a full day Conference and Pitch event bringing together more than 300 startup founders, successful entrepreneurs, investors, decision makers and ecosystem leaders from across Africa and around the world to share insights, explore investment and collaboration opportunities and discuss how African startups can scale beyond their home markets and become global businesses. The conference will showcase success stories of entrepreneurs who scaled successfully and look into the success factors as well as the elements that still need to be improved in order to allow an African startup to scale and compete on a global stage. Speakers will come from across the world, including Africa, Europe, MENA and the US. Speakers for the event will include Rwanda’s Minister of ICT as well as experts from Microsoft, Zipline, Intel, Africa 2.0, Orange, Google, SafeMotos, GSMA, Rwanda Development Board, 42 Kura and many many more.
Author: Staff writer