Seedstars Rallies Africa to MENA Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

Alexis Baghdadi, Jan 25 2016

African Startups image via Shutterstock


Casablanca (Morocco) will host the first edition of Seedstars Africa, the first edition of an annual summit to connect African entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurship ecosystems with the MENA and the world.

The main event will take place on January 30, 2016, and will welcome over 300 startup talents, investors, speakers, and mentors from 20 different countries of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

ArabNet founder and CEO, Omar Christidis, will be a guest speaker on a panel to discuss what different startup ecosystems in the MENA and Africa can learn from each other.

Other speakers at the conference include such heavyweights as Alexandra Fraser, founding member of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) in South Africa, Uri Gonda, experienced mentor and startup coach based in London, and Hasan Heider, Venture Partner at 500startups based in Bahrein.

Pre-Conference Startup Bootcamp and Conference

On January 28-29, 2016, Seedstars Africa host a 2-day bootcamp for the most promising startups that graduated from 15 previous Seedstars competitions held in different African countries.

The bootcamp will include mentoring sessions, workshops, and discussions. At the end of the bootcamp, startups will pitch in front of a jury for a chance to win a prize package consisting of $1.5 million in equity investment, as well as more in cash and in-kind prizes.

Africa Reaffirms Itself in the MENA Ecosystem

The event is the result of a joint venture by Seedstars World (SSW), the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, and StartupYourLife (SYL), one of the major Moroccan startup organizations, with the support of the OCP Entrepreneurship Network, the entrepreneurship arm of Morocco’s Fondation OCP.

Seedstars Africa aims to promote and foster entrepreneurial ecosystems in the African continent.

In addition to the panel on different startup ecosystems, the agenda of the conference includes a panel about investment opportunities in African startups, a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of digitalizing customer habits in emerging markets, and other targeted talks.

“We are really excited to start a meaningful discussion about how Africa can unleash its innovation potential and build solutions for the entire world,”said Kenza Lahlou, founder and Managing Director of StartupYourLife.


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