Seedstars, the global organization with the mission of impacting people’s lives in emerging markets through entrepreneurship and technology, launched its fourth edition of the Seedstars World competition in 2016, backed by an international team of 15 members. They have covered 65+ countries and regions, scouting for the best startups around the world and all 65 finalists have been selected to participate in a three days bootcamp followed by the famous Semi-Finals & Finals. The Seedstars Summit and final ceremony, which is open to public, will take place on April 6th whereby the “Seedstars World Global Winner” will be named and receive up to USD 500’000 in equity investment. Other sectors such as fintech and edtech will also be rewarded with equity investments and grants. The event is expecting around a thousand entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts to join for an amazing experience in Switzerland.
The underlying theme of the Summit this year will be Billions. The idea is to discuss how technology and entrepreneurship can impact billions of people’s lives. “Today, there are over 4 billion people without access to the Internet, which in my language means 4 billion potential consumers, opportunities and connected citizens. In the next 4 years alone, nearly half a billion people will come online for the first time. Venturing a bit further into the future, by 2020, 8 out of 10 smartphones will be located in emerging markets. Emerging Markets are at the center of the map!”, explains Alisée de Tonnac.
These markets, getting always more connected and experiencing rapid urbanization, offer virtually billions of possibilities. They push to develop more innovative business models to answer major challenges of our times, such as access to education, unemployment, waste collection, access to finances, health or gender inequality. Despite unfavourable conditions, they manage to break the traditional patterns and create innovative technologies, dedicated to improving people’s lives. With the skilled and talented people already there, often all these regions need is a better access to resources, that have previously been scarce.
Last year, the Seedstars Summit gathered 1000 guests from 55+ countries, where the 53 startup finalists gathered together with 100+ mentors and investors, culminating in 400 one-on-one meetings. Important prizes and investments were made such as the co-investment by Seedstars and Omidyar, into the Seedstars World global winner, Giraffe, representing South Africa.
For this year’s fourth edition, 65 handpicked startups from 65 countries will be flying over to Switzerland together with other European entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, HNWIs, family offices, corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts to join us for this unique experience. The event will take place on April 6th at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne, where up to USD 500’000 in equity investment will be made in the “Seedstars World Global Winner”. The best startups in categories such as FinTech, Education, Intel Solutions, Most Innovative Startup, Best Woman Entrepreneur as well as the Public Vote Winner will also be awarded investments and other prizes by top industry leaders.