Seedstars, a Swiss-based company that brings together key stakeholders focused on driving technological change in emerging markets, will open their first hub in Egypt, Seedspace Cairo, this 4th of May 2018 at 5:00pm, in an inaugural event where different actors of the local ecosystem and international community will take part. It’s going to be the first Seedspace in the MENA region, consolidating more than 4 years of activities in the Egyptian startup ecosystem.
Promoting entrepreneurship as a lifestyle, Seedspace Cairo aims to continue supporting the entrepreneurship scene by offering the different actors a “home” from which Seedstars will deploy their different acceleration and academic programs, as well as be closer to Egyptian changemakers. Seedspace Cairo will have a coworking area, offering a wide range of membership plans, from single-desks areas to private offices for larger teams. Additionally, Seedspace Cairo will have a co-living area, an accommodation alternative for those wishing to come to Cairo and experience the efervescent entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“It is a strategic step for us at Seedstars, so that we can be closer to the community we have gathered over the last years, to continue supporting them 365 days throughout the year, with different activities, events and, of course, a great place from where businesses can be created, grown and scaled” stated Romulo Navarrete, Head of Operations at Seedspace.
The event will also play host to the Cairo Chapter of Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets. Seedstars will be holding a dynamic pitch event to place the spotlight on 5 outstanding entrepreneurs, especially targeting solutions that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The jury panel participating in selecting the winner of this edition consists of Noha Shaker, Head of Digital ventures and strategic alliance at CIB, Karim Hussein, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures, Mohamed Assad, Venture Capital Associate at Averroes Ventures and Meghan Warner, Regional Manager of MENA at Seedstars. The event will also bring remarkable speakers including Yaseen Abdel-Ghaffar, Founder and Managing Director at SolarizEgypt, Mohamed Nabil, CEO at WideBot, Ahmed NeGm, Cofounder at Raye7 and Kennedy Kitheka, Managing Director of Seedstars Egypt.
The startups selected to pitch at the Seedstars Cairo event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than $500K in funding, built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction, and have the potential for regional and global scalability. With a strong network of international partners, such as BBVA, Merck and Enel, Seedstars is looking for smart startups that tackle regional issues and develop profitable and sustainable products for the global market, to support their regional businesses and growth.
Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage startups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to $1M and connect with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over $61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.
Currently, Seedspace has seven hubs: two in Geneva, Switzerland (La Chevillarde and La Praille); one in Lagos, Nigeria; another one in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; one in Cape Town, South Africa; two in Colombia (Bogota and Medellin), and with the opening of Seedspace Cairo, Seedstars continue its expansion strategy.
“We aim to have 15 hubs around the world by the end of 2018.” continues Romulo Navarrete, “This expansion is pivotal so that we can bring more impact to local ecosystems while interconnecting the different locations, creating access to an international community of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and corporates interested in innovation”.