Seedstars, a swiss-based company that brings together key stakeholders focused on driving technological change in emerging markets, opend its first hub in Egypt, Seedspace Cairo today, 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 coliving 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 bring remarkable speakers including Abdelhameed Sharara, Founder and CEO at RiseUp, Kennedy Kitheka, Managing Director of Seedstars Egypt, and a panel of Seedstars alumni with Yaseen Abdel-Ghaffar, Founder and Managing Director at SolarizEgypt, Mohamed Nabil, CEO at WideBot and Ahmed NeGm, Cofounder at Raye7.
The Cairo chapter of Seedstars World will also take place during the event, 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 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.
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 USD 1 million and connect with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.
The startups selected to pitch at the Seedstars Cairo event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding, built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction and has 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.
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”.