Is your African startup looking for funding?

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to South Africa to find the best startups from across the country. It has now officially opened its applications and applicants are expected to apply at www.seedstarsworld.com. In the spirit of diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurs from all provinces are encouraged to apply. In partnership with main sponsor Standard Bank, Seedstars World will host satellite events in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and will invite the top startups to the grand final hosted at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Johannesburg.

“Standard Bank is proud to be the country sponsor of Seedstars South Africa for the third year. Our partnership with Seedstars has given us yet another opportunity to engage with the vibrant startup community across the country. This year we hope to attract some of the most innovative businesses as with previous years. These partnerships allow us to help change the narrative of the potential that exists on the continent and helps us recognise and create access to market opportunities for those businesses that make it to the regional finals and the finals,” says Jayshree Naidoo, Head of Incubator at Standard Bank.

In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to eighty countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 500,000 and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.

“South Africa does indeed have world class entrepreneurial talent. Our priority for 2017 is to cast the net event wider and give the opportunity to the whole country to participate and become part of a global journey,” says Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World.

Since it’s launch, South African startups have had significant success with Giraffe winning the global prize in 2015. In 2016, wildcard winner IDWork, a platform for utilising and reviewing tradesmen for construction needs represented South Africa at the SSW Regional Summit in Rwanda and the Global Summit in Switzerland. With hopes of repeating this success for South African startups in the upcoming summit, Seedstars World is kicking off this year’s Africa tour in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“The entire Seedstars World experience has been absolutely amazing; from the regional summit in Rwanda, to the global summit in Switzerland. I have been very inspired by the entrepreneurs from all different corners of the world. Together with them, I got to meet investors, mentors, and corporates. I’m going to miss it all, but in a sense, this is just the beginning. I advise anyone to compete for the Seedstars World competition. Go win that ticket. It will be an amazing ride.” – Arjun Khoosal, Co-founder ID Work

“This is our third year partnering with this awesome global initiative and it always amazes me the amount of talent we find in South Africa through the Seedstars competition.” – Vuyisa Qabaka, Seedstars Ambassador in South Africa and Partner at venture builder, Entrepreneur Traction

The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars local events need to be less than two years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction and the startup’s regional and global scalability. Lastly, with a strong network of regional and local partners such as Enel, Microsoft4Afrika, Orange, Merck, Trecc, Standard Bank and Deloitte, Entrepreneur Traction, PayU, Seedspace, Simodisa, and Startup Grind amongst others, Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and develop profitable products for the global market, to support their regional businesses and growth.

Applications are open now on www.seedstarsworld.com for the satellite events held in Johannesburg on May 26th, Cape Town on June 8th, and the main South Africa finals will be held on June 29th.