Seedstars Africa Summit 2017: a celebration of technology and entrepreneurship in Maputo, Mozambique

Jan. 16, 2018

December 11 – 14, 2017 – Maputo, Mozambique

The Africa Regional Summit lasted for 3 days and brought together over 500 attendees commencing with a bootcamp for the participating startups, an ecosystem tour, investor day and culminated with a conference day on December 14th.

After hosting competitions in 20+ African countries throughout 2017, identifying the most promising startups and analyzing the local ecosystems, Seedstars World brought together the best and most promising entrepreneurs with ecosystem players, mentors, investors, corporates and other entrepreneurs across the continent. The event was hosted by local ambassador organisation UX Information Technologies with Standard Bank as the main platinum sponsor and supported by local and international partners such as the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Switzerland, Enel, Merck, Orange, Microsoft, amongst others.

“We have been on a long and interesting journey when it comes to entrepreneurship and technology in emerging markets. As part of the Seedstars DNA we want to be on the ground working directly with startups, corporates and other stakeholders. This is exactly the reason why we are travelling to 88+ ecosystems globally this year including over 20 countries in Africa. We are very excited to be able to bring the entire network together in Mozambique this year and together look into some of the opportunities of the continent and explore how technologies can rapidly improve the current status quo in emerging markets worldwide.” says Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager for Africa.

Here’s what happened:

The conferences:

The main stage was divided into 4 sessions and thematics followed by 20 startup pitches of the Seedstars local winners pitching on stage.

  1. The Rise of the Underdog: the session highlighted how different countries are playing their part in changing the African narrative and building and improving the environment for entrepreneurs in technology from the ground up, with the aim of turning Africa into the top dog.
  2. From Informal to the Formal Economy: there exists a sizeable informal economy on which millions of Africans depend. This sessions deep dives into the untapped opportunities of one of the biggest markets in Africa.
  3. From No Tech to High Tech: from arts to government and religion, there are certain industries that one usually doesn’t associate technology with. Over the past years, we have witnessed some of these traditional industries connecting with the next generation of entrepreneurs to use technology to solve some of their biggest challenges. This session touches on the importance of collaboration between these different players and zooms into the life of pathmakers from across the continent
  4. Movers, Mobile & Mobility: this session gives an interesting touch on movers, mobile technology players and reaching the “last mile”, going from delivery to rural areas to reaching communities, passing by countries and cultures across the continent.
Round Table

The workshops:

During the conference day, two sessions of workshops have been organised, offering an interactive format to discuss burning issues in Africa. The workshops were open to executive passes and gathered experts, entrepreneurs and corporates. It gave the opportunity for attendees to network with people in their sector of interest and to look for concrete solutions. Hereunder are the thematics:

  • The future of energy by Dysmus Kisilu from Solar Freeze
  • Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights & Innovation in partnership with UNFPA by Andrea Wojnar
  • Civic Technology by Taco de Nies (BoP Innovation center) and Munya Dodo (Motorepublik)
  • Financial Inclusion: scaling innovative model in partnership with FSD by Priya Mistry (CommuScore), Anne-Marie Chidzero (FSD Mozambique), Dayn Amade (Kamaleon)
  • Sharing is learning: collaboration between tech hubs in partnership with Orange Corners by Theodore Klouvas
  • Fintech: collaboration between corporate and entrepreneurs to build profitable Fintech ventures by Benjamin Benaim (Seedstars) and Claudio Banze (Standard Bank)
  • “Women empowerment” in partnership with Ideialab by Sara Fakir (Ideialab)
  • WASH: Innovation for Personal hygiene and sanitation in partnership with BoP Innovation Center by Taco de Nies
  • Startups <3 Telcos – Hosted by GSMA by Sam Ajadi (GSMA) and Gregory Omondi (GSMA)
  • Environment Innovation in Water supply in partnership with WWF by Herminio Munlungo (WWF)
Round Table 2

Pitches of our startups finalists:

Tupuca, AngolaIs - the first online food delivery platform in Angola. Tupuca serves over 20,000 customers, delivered over 80 000 meals in the first year and created over 75 jobs

YAPILI, Botswana - YAPILI is a peer-to-peer web platform and Android App offering new opportunities for many Africans to connect to doctors for health advice.

CinetPay, Cote d’Ivoire - CinetPay is mobile money payment gateway that enables e-merchants and merchants to accept mobile money and card payments, online or offline.

LangBot, Ethiopia - a gamified and AI-powered language teaching chatbot.

AgroCenta, Ghana - an online sales platform that connected smallholder farmers directly to an online market, which has wider geographic size, to sell their commodities.

M-Shule, Kenya - M-Shule improves learning for every primary student in Africa using artificial intelligence and SMS to deliver personalized, accessible education.

Esene, Mali - Esene is an onboard system that collects soil moisture to provide water and fertilizer for crops.

Tabech Servicos, Mozambique - MóvelCare is a virtual mobile insurance service that uses mobile phones to access funeral insurance without the use of internet.

Medsaf, Nigeria - Medsaf is the trusted medication platform for Africa. It connects pharmacies and hospitals with safe and cost effective medications.

PikiWash, Rwanda - an eco-friendly, time-saving solution for cleaning motorcycles

MaTontine, Senegal - MaTontine provides access to small loans and related financial services like micro-insurance by digitizing traditional savings circles

EMG Technologies, South Africa - EMGuidance solves a critical problem for medical professionals by aggregating medical content from regional experts in one app.

Nefrids Africa Limited, Tanzania - SimuBima is the first of its kind Mobile Phone Insurance Solution designed to reach as many users across Tanzania using digital channels.

Numida, Uganda - Numida issues a convenient and secured credit to Ugandan small businesses that use its free financial management app.

myRunner, Zimbabwe - over a million people travel by bus each month, myRunner’s vision is to change the way bus travel is experienced and make it easier and safer.

Gifted Mom, Cameroon - GiftedMom is democratising health information access in emerging markets through an AI-based remote medical support platform.

congolese startup

The growth bootcamp:

Prior to the conference, Seedstars World hosted a 2 day invite-only Bootcamp, where local and international pre-selected startups were working with world-class local and international mentors on improving their business models, growth strategy and mastering the investor pitch.

Ecosystem Tour

The ecosystem tour:

The main ecosystem builders on the continent as well as a delegation of VIP-invitees were also invited to engage with the local ecosystem in a so-called “knowledge exchange session”. In addition, the delegates visited factories, incubation/acceleration spaces, and engage in discussions with government entities to get a better understanding of the locally applied policies designed to support entrepreneurship in the country.

Ecosystem Tour 2

Side events:

In addition, a number of different side-events were organised around the conference, such as the official opening of the Orange Corners Maputo Incubator by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Mentorship session

Do you want to take part in the grand final of Seedstars World 2018? Get your ticket here!