“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb
Seedstars World [SSW], the largest startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup ecosystems, is hosting the sixth edition of the annual Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 2-5. This year, the summit will undertake a new format, focusing primarily on five key industries – finance, healthcare, education, agriculture and energy to address the global challenges and find efficient tech solutions for each sector.
As the entrepreneurship forum for emerging markets, the summit will gather more than 1200 participants at the SwissTech Convention Center, EPFL. This will include 80+ hand-picked startup teams, corporates, entrepreneurs, government representatives, ecosystem builders, business experts, investors, ambassadors and mentors from over 75 countries to connect, learn, and bring us closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
The new highlight of this year’s Summit will be five key industry-focused workshops, where a dedicated group of experts will tackle real-life challenges for specific groups and countries, by applying various Seedstars-designed methodologies such as problem identification, ideation and peer-to-peer brainstorm.
The Seedstars Summit will kick off with a private bootcamp (2nd and 3rd of April) for pre-selected startups, where they’ll refine their growth strategy and participate in one-on-one meetings with mentors from the world’s top companies like Google, Udacity, Merck, Amazon, IBM and many more. There will also be an Investor Forum (4th of April) to connect well-known investors with Seedstars World startups, and keynote speeches from renowned experts, including Fabio Cannavale, CEO of lastminute.com, a digital entrepreneur and serial investor.
On April 5, the final day of the summit, attendees will gain access to the Main Stage with a chance to meet and learn from entrepreneurs like Anthony Ndungu, an innovation architect, techpreneur, and founder of Kytabu, an EdTech platform revolutionizing education in Kenya. Parallel will be the Breakout Stage, aimed at discussing the hottest trends in tech today such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, peace innovations, and more.
The Seedstars Summit marks an end to the 2018 Seedstars World Competition that took place in 75+ countries across Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. The competition helped uncover the most promising startups in each region and invite them to the Summit. All 67 startups selected along the way will have a chance to compete for up to $1mn in equity investment and the title of Seedstars Global Winner.
Around 85% of the world’s population is located in emerging markets with 59% of global GDP coming from these markets. But today, developing countries face a $3 trillion to $5 trillion annual investment gap in sustainable growth. Seedstars strives to identify and connect future entrepreneurial minds and seed-stage startups with its global network of investors and industry players to help pave the way towards a successful and sustainable future.
“Entrepreneurs who get valuable support and knowledge can become the key enablers in their country’s ecosystem and double the impact by sharing their expertise, mentoring, and investing in other ideas,” said Alisée de Tonnac, CEO and co-founder of Seedstars.
Among the companies and institutions that help make the Seedstars Summit 2019 possible are SPEI, School of Management Fribourg (HEG Fribourg), TRECC (Jacobs Foundation), TAG Heuer, TRECC (Jacobs Foundation), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck, Rising Tide Foundation, EPFL (École Polytéchnique de Lausanne), Innovaud, CVCI (Chambre Vaudoise du Commerce et de l’Industrie), Lausanne Région and Ville de Lausanne, Nespresso.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company