Agrocenta, the startup which is tackling food access and stock flow issues across Ghana communities, won up to $500,000 in equity investment and some unique growth opportunities at the Seedstars Summit 2018.
Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focused only in emerging markets, closed its fifth edition with a huge celebratory Seedstars Summit. After covering 65+ countries during 2017, Seedstars invited and sponsored the coming of 65+ local startup winners to Lausanne, Switzerland, where they had the chance to compete for different prizes, up to $1M in equity investment and the title of Seedstars Global Winner.
The Seedstars Summit is an opportunity for stakeholders in impact investment, tech and entrepreneurship in and from emerging markets to network and profit from a unique hands-on growth experience. Startups participated in a two-day bootcamp; a private Investor Forum where they had the chance to pitch to be considered one of the 12 finalists to compete on the main stage and attended more than 700 one-on-one sessions with investors. On the Summit Day, the finalist startups pitched on the main stage in front of more than 1,000 hand-picked participants, investors, startup enthusiasts and some of the most prominent names of tech and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The jury, an international panel which included Benjamin Benaïm, from Seedstars, Nikunj Jinsi and Theta Capital Group decided that this year’s investment will go to Agrocenta from Ghana.
Francis Obirikorang founded Agrocenta having in mind to create an online sales platform that could connect smallholder farmers directly to an online market which has wider geographic size to sell their commodities.
According to Pierre-Alain Masson, co-founder at Seedstars, “Agrocenta won this prize because of the disruption they are creating in the farming industry. It’s very important that investors know that talent is everywhere and that the way startups and tech entrepreneurs in emerging markets are addressing the underlying social challenges in their home countries, be it agriculture or access to finance, basic education, healthcare or energy supply is a tremendous business trend and opportunity.”
For Francis Obirikorang, “winning at the Seedstars Summit will have an enormous impact in my company’s growth and success for the next years. I am sure that, just like other previous winners, it will open funding, learning and growth opportunities. In emerging economies, we lack not only the infrastructure, but also access to some fundamental tools like networking and mentoring. Seedstars team is spreading the word about our talent and ideas to their international network dedicated to impact investment and I know I’ll be able to profit from this. Can’t wait to start building on this momentum!”
Other startups from Africa where not left out of the party. In addition to the $500,000 investment prize for the Seedstars Global Winner, Seedstars and its partners awarded 7 more prizes. This is how African startup companies fared:
- EDVES, from Nigeria, was awarded the Transforming Education Prize, by TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities)
- Solar Freeze, from Kenya, was the winner of the Africa Energy Prize by Enel X, which rewards the startup for its innovative solution to provide solar-powered cold storage units to smallholder farmers with no need for grid connection in Sub-Saharan Africa. Solar Freeze won access to a three-month programme worth $50,000 in acceleration services.
- EMGuidance, from South Africa, was awarded the Health Tech prize by Merck. The prize combines joining Merck Accelerator with financial support of up to €50,000 and office space at the Merck Innovation Center, mentoring, and coaching.
- TAG Heuer, Seedstars World official time keeper, decided to partner with Seedstars Summit to highlight the role of women entrepreneurs in their own ecosystems and awarded Medsaf, from Nigeria, the Best Woman Entrepreneur prize.
The 12 finalist startups were:
- CMED, finalist startup from Bangladesh
- Celcoin, finalist startup from Brazil
- Agrocenta, finalist startup from Ghana
- Junkbot Robotics, finalist startup from United Arab Emirates
- Redcapital, finalist startup from Chile
- Payit, finalist startup from Mexico
- Eve.calls, finalist startup from Ukraine
- GiftedMom, finalist startup from Cameroon
- KarGo, finalist startup from Myanmar
- Medsaf, finalist startup from Nigeria
- SayurBox, finalist startup from Indonesia
- EMGuidance, finalist startup from South Africa
ABOUT SEEDSTARS WORLD
Seedstars World is the first global startup competition focused on emerging and fast-growing markets. For five years now, it has built a network in 65+ countries, with the teams traveling the world to source innovative startup investment opportunities. Find out more at Seedstars World.
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9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding
Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.
Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.
The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.
Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.
The 2021 cohort includes:
- Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
- Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
- Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
- Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
- Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
- Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
- The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
- Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
- Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana
Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,
She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.
Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.
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