In a move that is expected to further the growth of the Zimbabwean startup ecosystem, nine promising startups of the Zimbabwean descent have been selected to compete in this year’s Seedstars World Zimbabwe. The event, which is slated to take place on the 29th of June, 2018, in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital, is billed to feature a number of green enterprises from the Southern African nation. The nine startups selected for the Seedstars Zimbabwe event will be slogging it out for the opportunity to represent the nation at the Seedstars Summit which is scheduled to be held in Switzerland later this year.
Known for its role in enhancing the growth of startups through provision of funding and connections to a large community of experts in the broader ecosystem, Seedstars is looking to make further strides in developing the ecosystem with this event. Seedstars World Zimbabwe appears to be the latest installment of the a similar competition organised by the company in April this year.
With African winners having already been named in North African nations, Egypt and Tunisia, the Zimbabwean leg of the global early-stage startups contest will be hosted at Impact Hub Harare. Nine Zimbabwean startups are expected to stake their claims for a chance to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Zimbabwean representative, myRunner; a startup that is in the business of providing bus-booking solutions. All nine selected startups appear to be fancying their chances of going all the way to the global final; a feat that will match the exploits of the country’s immediate past representative in the competition.
Amongst the nine selected startups are e-health startup, Futuremed, Peer-To-Peer delivery startup, ParcelTip, academic management system, Leaph, energy company, Renewable Loop Private Limited, and crime-reporting app, Justice Today.
Making up the rest of the competitors for the latest edition of Seedstars World Zimbabwe are such enterprises as Vote Africa; a democratic education platform, YouFarm; an agricultural funding platform, Rera Online Farm a enterprise that is in based on agri-tech, and Wellnescript; a digital health startup.
Out to scrutinize the various offerings from each of the competing startups that will come in the form of pitch presentations, is a panel of judges that is expected to consist of such notable personalities as Sharon Wekwete from Omidyar network, Lilian Mbayiwa from Old Mutual, UNDP’s Ethel Bangwayo, Nhena Nyagura of Dandemutande Investments, and Claudia Makadristo, Seedstars’ regional manager for Africa.
Being the subject of renewed interest from notable investors in recent times, civic technology appears to be the focus area for the latest installment of Seedstars World Zimbabwe. A valid case in point comes in from Omidyar Network; a firm that is known to have covered considerable ground in the area of funding civic tech organisations around the world for over a decade.
According to Claudia Makadristo, regional manager for Africa at Seedstars, the planned event is coming as a timely one especially in the light of the need to reshape the relationship between society and its citizens. She also reaffirmed Seedstars’ commitment to supporting civic-tech-focused platforms while emphasizing their roles which could well go beyond the shores of the country and impact the whole of the African continent.