21 Jan

Seedstars Shines A Much-Needed Spotlight on Emerging Markets At Seedstars Summit In Lausanne, Switzerland

The Seedstars organization has been doing some interesting things for the past few years, and having an impact. In Finance Colombia we have covered them in the past, and as recently as last November, when they had their Latin America event here in Medellín. I attended, and was able to see the impact they are having on the ground here, and around the world.

Silicon Valley often gets all the attention, followed by Boston, Austin and maybe Toronto; but there are some really cool things happening all over the world. Seedstars is doing a valuable service by bringing much needed attention to emerging markets such as here in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the rest of Asia outside of developed pockets like Seoul, Singapore and maybe Taipei.

In November, I was able to witness Seedstar selecting nine Latin American startups that won trips to Seedstars World in Lausanne, Switzerland. You can read about the nine winners here.

Seedstars Summit is the final step of Seedstars World, the world’s largest emerging markets startup competition. For the past six years, the Seedstars teams have been scouting for the best early-stage startups by travelling around 80 countries for the past 9 months. This year,the event will showcase the 48 early stage firms that Seedstars selected as the most promising from emerging economies in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. They are competing for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to $500K in equity investment, and additional prizes will be granted by Seedstars partners.

In 2020, Seedstars unveils a new theme for the Summit, as all teams will focus on how to serve and galvanize entrepreneurial ecosystems, going beyond borders, limitations, structural challenges, financial constraints, and prejudice. The event seeks to continue as a driving force for sustainable change in emerging markets, bringing together over 1500 participants at the Swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne.

A four-day event, the Summit will kick-off with a 2-day bootcamp, where startups will receive a mix of theoretical and practical content, with input provided by the Seedstars investment team and its partners, all experts in  growth models and acquisition channels. The following day, one-on-one meetings between key investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs will take place during the Investor Forum.

April 3rd, the main conference day, will host networking sessions, industry-themed pitch sessions and/or workshops in the morning. During the afternoon, the mainstage will feature startup pitches, keynotes from industry leaders and Seedstars alumni, as well as prize announcements. For the grand finale, the global Seedstars winner will be selected among the 48 startups and announced on stage. To close the event, there will be a cocktail where all attendees will be able to connect and celebrate entrepreneurship.

The Summit will also be an opportunity to showcase and strengthen Seedstars initiatives launched throughout the past year. In 2019, the group launched several initiatives to deliver in-depth support to all involved ecosystems including Seedstars Africa Ventures, a sub-Saharan Africa fund targeting $100million USD to make early-stage minority investments from $250,000 to $5 million in the most promising and innovative ventures across sectors and countries.

The Investment Readiness Program (IRP), a five-module education program challenging the traditional acceleration model by creating a custom-made mix, is relaunching to improve early-stage startups performance and get them ready to secure investment. Next batch of the IRP starts in January 2020 and application are open on the website.

The Seedstars group dedication to telling exceptional entrepreneurs stories also took a life of its own with the Seedstars TV webisodes and the very first Seedstars documentary.

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