Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Kenya on October 7th 2016. In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to US$1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world.

Previous Seedstars World participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.

10 Kenyan startups will pitch at the Nairobi event on October 7th, at PAWA254, with the winner destined to represent Kenya at the global event in Switzerland.

“Kenya has shown impressive development in the startup and tech entrepreneurship ecosystem not just with in the country but also for Africa. We are extremely looking forward to see what the young innovators have got in stock of us and cannot wait to meet them all in person,” says Selam Kebede, Associate for Africa at Seedstars World.

The event will take place at PAWA 254, with the startups to pitch to a panel of judges, with the top startup taking the title of Kenya’s most promising seed-stage startup, which comes with a trip to the Seedstars World 2017 final in Geneva.

The main sponsor for the Kenya leg is CFC Stanbic Bank, and the local ambassador is Douglas Ogeto of The Founders Hive, who is representing the initiative throughout the year.  Other partners include Omidyar Network, Microsoft, Intel and Pawa254. Further support is provided by Open Capital Advisors, Metta, iAfrikan, Nest, VC4Africa and Lionesses of Africa.

"The Emerging markets and Africa at large provide ample Scaling opportunities and unique clients. Kenyan entrepreneurs should not be left behind in taking advantage of this while at the same time ensuring that they have a solid team to do so." says local ambassador Douglas Ogeto.

The 10 startups pitching at the Nairobi event are:

  • Lakt co: A startup that is fusing financial literacy with financial services using an app that is that runs on the Blockchain.
  • OptiSmart Solutions: An integrated web and mobile platform that facilitates real-time authorization of claims, solving insurance fraud.
  • Kuza: A platform for new farmers to access courses, farming support and professional farm services on demand
  • Ujuzi Software Solutions: A startup providing anti-money laundering solutions for banks, investment firms, forex bureaus and remittance providers.
  • Flexpay Technologies: A flexible and affordable piecemeal payment service for goods and services
  • Mobilized Construction: A platform for mobilized construction through engaging local labor to manually build climate resilient dirt roads.
  • Farmers Pride: A micro franchise model for farmers to access inputs and sell their produce.
  • Olivine Technology: Hybrid-cloud service that automates marketing activities for SME manufacturers, distributors & retailers of fast-moving consumer goods.
  • Student Finance Africa (SFA): SFA provides affordable tuition loans for higher education to qualified students and parents across sub-Saharan Africa
  • iNuka Pap limited: A mobile platform that allows subscribers to access free medical insurance by saving and borrowing loans via mobile money

The event will also include a panel discussion moderated by Eric Mugendi, iAfrikan's editor-at-large, featuring Trevor Kimenye of Ongair, Ory Okolloh of Omidyar Network, and Marcello Schermer of Seedstars World.

For more details, visit the event website.

UPDATE: A previous version of this post indicated that ten startups would compete at the finals. Three startups withdrew, leaving seven in the competition.

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