This is what happens when you bring together 30 startups from 13 African countries.
At the end of January, we held our first ever Seedstars Africa regional summit in Casablanca, Morocco. Seedstars Africa is our annual flagship event focused on bringing together all African startups that we found while traveling across 16 countries on the continent. Together with StartupYourLife we hosted a 2 day bootcamp with mentors and startups from 15+ countries and a full day conference focused on showing the potential of African startups. After traveling the continent for over 9 months, we were already convinced of the amazing talent and the potential of the entrepreneurs, but the event was a unique opportunity to bring everyone together and show the world.
The participating startups hailed from Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Algeria, Egypt and different parts of Morocco.
After spending time with them during our 2 day bootcamp and full day conference, we were inspired by the impact the time has had on the startups and mentors alike. I want to share a few of the things that happened as a result of having so many different people together.
#1 New friendships were built
Being together in such a pressure cooker situation for a couple of days, made both startups and mentors create new global friendships. It was a unique opportunity to be exposed to people from across the world, learn from them and create lasting and diverse friendships with new people who have similar interests.
#2 People expanded each other’s horizons
Bringing so many people from so many different places together creates an environment where the experience and insights of each individual amplify within the room and create an energetic and inspiring environment where everyone grows and learns. Mentors, startups and ecosystem players from different countries, continents and backgrounds exchanged, learned from each other and expanded each other’s horizons beyond what they were able to experience in their home countries.
#3 People created opportunities for each other
Having new friends and mentors in all parts of the world means that startups now have a helping hand that can facilitate their entry into a new market and support them with getting used to a new environment in a new country. The networks, experience and help of friends in new countries can be the crucial difference between succeeding and failing at scaling.
Our mission at Seedstars World is to find, connect and support entrepreneurs and ensure that opportunities are as equally distributed as talent is today. Knowing that every participant left with new insights, friends, mentors and potential business partners across the world gives us the confidence that we’re on the right path.
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→ If you want to experience an event like this for yourself, you can join us for the Seedstars Summit on March 3rd in Lausanne. We’ll bring together over 60 startups from 55 countries. Learn more about it here.