Come Friday, 20th June, nine startups of Rwandan descent will looking to do battle while fancying their chances of emerging with all of the spoils at this year’s edition of Seedstars Kigali.
Seedstars World is a renowned startup competition for emerging markets, and the Rwandan leg of the pitching contest is scheduled to take place in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, this Friday. Amongst the panel of judges who will be listening to the pitches from the nine participating startups, as well as vetting their offerings, are such notable personalities as Tanya Mulamula; Head of Communications Agency Studio Red, Ephraim Rwamwenge; from the Rwa Business Group, Guido von Westerholt; Manager Startup Haus Program, and Claudia Makadristo; Regional Manager Seedstars World Africa.
An earlier press statement released by the initiative reiterated the giant strides made by Rwanda’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in recent times. In the same vein, the Regional Manager is quoted as saying: “We are extremely excited to return to Kigali and hope to witness the results of this, reflecting in the quality of the entrepreneurs we will select to participate in the Seedstars World competition.”
Partners that have collaborated with Seedstars World for the organization and hosting of this event include Klab and Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. The latter, through a statement released yesterday, expressed enthusiasm over the return of the pitch competition to Kigali, describing the move as “a great confirmation of the positive development of the local startup scene and the international interest it attracts.
The nine startups that will be participating in the competition were selected in the aftermath of the scrutinization of multiple entries, having satisfied requirements which border around such details as age, amount of funding already raised, type of product, the degree of traction, as well as regional and global scalability. Ranging from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to business-to-business (B2B) financing, education to eCommerce and freelancing, the handpicked startups come from diverse fields. Now, in alphabetical order, here’s a look at nine of them.
BAG Innovation: A talent matchmaking platform that is looking to connect young, talented Rwandans with growing companies that are in need of their inputs and unique skill sets. The startup also claims to have provided training to over 400 students in the country, while working with more than 30 firms.
BeneFactors: A B2B financing platform which seeks to provide clients with tailored working capital solutions in exchange for their unpaid invoices or purchase orders.
Blaiva Fablab Rwanda: To its credit, this business has developed a Blind Artificial Intelligence Vision Assistance device which functions via an AI-enabled lens.
Comparisol: An application which offers information and education to users of solar energy, as well as provide a marketplace for users to make comparisons between solar products and draw conclusions on which quality-verified solar products to purchase.
eJobu: This a freelancing platform which connects skilled Rwandans with small businesses.
Favouriapps; This app helps users who are in transit to save time by purchasing bus tickets on the go.
Raisin: An online ticketing platform that supports mobile payments and international payment cards.
The Einstein: This startup is looking to offer philanthropic support to students in need by eschewing the bureaucracy an lack of transparency in the sector.
TIVA Motos: Using mobile accounts or TIVA wallets, this eCommerce app is looking to provide moto (motorcycle taxi) riders in Rwanda with an affordable and convenient way to pay for motorcycle products and services.
The latest Kigali edition in the Seedstars World series is expected to provide up to USD 1 Mn in equity investments to one startup that is adjudged to hold the most potential, as well as the opportunity to represent the country in next year’s Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. There will also be a number of consolation prizes.