Funding for African startup companies

Seedcamp, a European micro seed fund that invests in early stage startup companies, will be attending the Tech4Africa conference in August this year to identify African startups for potential investment and an opportunity to attend the Seedcamp Week programme held in September in London, UK. This marks the first time that a Mini Seedcamp programme will be hosted in Africa.

A few selected African entrepreneurs will have a rare opportunity to pitch their businesses at a group of people connected to powerful investors, mentors and startups throughout EMEA, with one team being chosen to take part in Seedcamp Week, where its founders will gain exposure to investors and world-class mentors.

Seedcamp is a programme created to jumpstart the entrepreneurial community in Europe, Middle East and Africa by connecting next generation developers and entrepreneurs from a network of over 400 top-tier industry mentors.

It acts as a micro seed fund to invest in startup companies, offering standard investments of €30,000-50,000 to selected companies. The initiative’s flagship event, Seedcamp Week, takes place in London in September every year, and it is here where beneficiaries for the post-3 month programme are chosen.

Following Seedcamp Week, the companies who receive investment stay in London for three months to grow and develop their company, building key and lasting business relationships along the way to help them sustain a viable business.

“In addition to a direct route to seed and venture capital, companies that participate in Seedcamp get enormous validation and access to a world-class network of advisors that help them with every aspect of their businesses,” says Gareth Knight, managing director at Technovated, the company that is organising Tech4Africa.

Says Reshma Sohoni, CEO at Seedcamp: “We want to provide a catalyst for the next generation of African entrepreneurs and help them take risks, think big, and succeed. Our programme provides entrepreneurs with access to seed funding but also more importantly, gives them exposure to the collective experience of people who can help them to build successful businesses.”

African entrepreneurs that want to apply for the Mini Seedcamp Africa programme can apply through the Tech4Africa event Web site (http://www.tech4africa.com/seedcamp/). It is anticipated that 10 teams will be selected to take part in the Mini Seedcamp event at Tech4Africa.

The successful applicants will have opportunities to interact with Seedcamp mentors and to present their businesses to Seedcamp. A committee may choose one startup to attend Seedcamp Week in London.

Tech4Africa runs from 12-13 August 2010 at The Forum in Bryanston. Workshops will be held on 10-11 August. The event is targeted at business professionals and technologists from businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs and start-up owners through to professionals working at large organisations.

A stellar line-up of international speakers – including speakers from Twitter, Mozilla and Yahoo! – will be presenting at the conference. Clay Shirky – one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies – will be a keynote speaker. More details are available at http://www.tech4africa.com.

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Funding for African startup companies