Seedstars World announces partnership with Lagos Startup Week and Uber to showcase the best Nigerian entrepreneurs



On July 31st, the Nigerian leg of Seedstars World will take place at the final event of Lagos Startup Week. This will showcase the best entrepreneurs from around the country, elevate them to an international stage and offer them the opportunity to receive up to USD 1.5 million in investment.

Lagos Startup Week is scheduled for July 27th – July 31st, 2015.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, will hold its prestigious startup competition in partnership with Startup Week Lagos and Uber. The week-long event for startups and entrepreneurship in Nigeria will culminate with a pitching competition for 10-15 Nigerian companies to identify the best early stage startup in Nigeria.

The basic criteria for applying to the competition are: a seed-stage company, less than 2 years since the founding date, less than USD 500’000 in funding, and a MVP available. Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market.

There will be 3 ways to apply to the competition:

  1. By invitation through key incubators, accelerators, and investors in the market
  2. The open pre-application on http://www.seedstarsworld.com/event/seedstars-lagos-2015
  3. The #UberPitch competition that will allow anyone with 15 minutes and a good idea to request a ride and compete for a last minute spot in the Seedstars World competition … and the rides don’t cost a thing!

Applications are open until July 12th!

Seedstars World has expanded its competition to include more than 50 countries for 2015 (up from the 36 countries of the 2014 edition). Its past participants have raised USD 20M altogether, providing employment to 360+ employees around the world. A new addition to the competition this year are the Investments Tracks. Seedstars World has partnered up with lastminute.com group to source the best travel startups, and with a top financial institution (to be announced soon) to find the most innovative fintech company. The winner of each of these Investment Tracks will take home a USD 500,000 equity prize, in addition to association with one of the biggest players in the industry. Additional prizes will be available such as the Space Prize, a USD 50,000 grant awarded by Inmarsat and AP-Swiss. All regional winners of the local events will be invited back to Switzerland to pitch at the final event in March 2016 in Switzerland.

Simeon Ononobi, the Co-Founder of SimplePay, an online payment system and winner of Seedstars Lagos in 2013, explains: “It’s a great competition and really an eye opener. For me Seedstars was a great step in the right direction, as I not only got funds, but the required expertise and exposure my business needed. SimplePay was transformed from a bedroom company to a world class solution.” Simeon adds: “I would encourage any and every startup to make sure they join in on the greatness that is Seedstars and not be left out. If you get into the community, you get to meet other people of like minds and, trust me, it’s an adventure you want to be part of. Today I have friends from 20 plus other countries that want to help my business expand into their respective countries.”

One of the organizers of Lagos Startup Week, Olumide Olayinka, said: “Some of the most pivotal moments for startups and businesses have come down to one big pitch. We are committed to supporting startups and SMEs, entrepreneurs with investment opportunities, [and providing] mentoring and tools to make great ideas come to life. With an annual GDP of over 500 billion dollars, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and is set to experience significant growth over the next couple of years, as predicted by economists across the globe. Lagos Startup Week hopes to bring together major industry players and create a platform to harness opportunities and encourage growth of the startup ecosystem in Nigeria.”

Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World, says: “We are really happy to partner with Startup Week in Nigeria as it is one of the largest and most important events for entrepreneurship in the country. We believe partnerships are an essential element to drive the growth of an ecosystem and we couldn’t have found a better partner for this. Together with Startup Week Lagos we can promote entrepreneurship and elevate Nigerian startups to a global stage.”

So far, Startup Week has been hosted in 75 cities around the world including Seattle, Austin, Denver, Portland, and Maine. Lagos is the first city to host Startup Week in Africa.

About Seedstars World

Seedstars World is the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes. It is one of the fastest-growing networks for tech entrepreneurs in the world. Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded by Alisée de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, it is supported by the venture builder Seedstars. http://www.seedstarsworld.com

About Startup Week Lagos

Lagos Startup Week is a celebration of entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners in Lagos. It is a week-long event made up of various sessions, keynotes, panels, pitches, and meetups all centered on building and growing startups from Nigeria. Lagos Startup Week provides an opportunity for startups to gather and learn from local and visiting entrepreneurs and share experiences, as the startups get ready to take on Africa’s challenges. To attend, register at www.lagosstartupweek.com.

About Uber

Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through apps, Uber make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders, and more business for drivers. From its founding in 2009 to its launches in hundreds of cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer. www.uber.com

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