Seedstars is a global organization with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The organization’s competition Seedstars World, is aimed at the global seed-stage startups in emerging markets.
This year, Seedstars World will be travelling to more than 75 countries in order to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Just for the record, previous participants of Seedstars World have raised over USD 61M collectively, providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.
For 2017, Seedstars World will be coming back to Sri Lanka in the form of Seedstars Colombo. The pitching event will be held on October 19th at 5pm in the Hive @ Foster Lane. Orion City and Hatch will be the main partners of Seedstars Colombo. MAS Holdings, Hive, and Exetel will also be joining the event as key partners. In addition, SLASSCOM and Startup Sri Lanka will further enable the event as ecosystem partners. Last but not least ICTA Sri Lanka will also join the fray as the National Partner.
In order to compete at Seedstars Colombo, our company will have to meet the following criteria. Firstly, the company needs to be less than 2 years old. Secondly, the company needs to have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding. Thirdly, you and your company also need to have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. In addition, the Seedstars World team is searching for the startup’s regional and global scalability.
8 startups will be selected to pitch, with the winning startup receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the Seedstars Asia Regional Summit in Bangkok, and the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland. Here, startups from more than 70 countries will meet with international mentors and investors, and pitch for up to $1 million in equity investment, among other prizes. Last year, Sri Lanka was represented by Layup, with their solution of increasing employee engagement in corporate training programs through new learning approaches.
Rosie Keller, Regional Associate for Asia at Seedstars World, explained that “Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe, and we have continuously seen innovative startups who do just that coming out of Sri Lanka. We are excited to be coming back to see what the ecosystem has to offer this year”.
In order to provide tech entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka with this opportunity and to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars World is working closely with its Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Mangala Karunaratne, who says of the local ecosystem: ” The Sri Lankan ecosystem is relatively small and new, however, we have some amazingly passionate founders and our engineering is second to none. What some of them lack is access to market and support for customer development, so events like Seedstars are absolutely what we need to fill that gap”.
Startup founders who want to pitch at the October 19th event should apply before October 11th on the Seedstars Colombo website by clicking here. The eight startups selected will give a five-minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights. Members of the public are welcome to come join the fun and should register on the above Seedstars Colombo website as well.