Seedstars World has continued the expansion of its network of Seedspace hubs across Africa by partnering Omidyar Network to launch a new space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Seedstars World, which this year picked an African winner in the form of Ghanaian startup AgroCenta at the final in Switzerland, has already begun its tour of emerging markets to pick startups for next year’s event, choosing local winners in Egypt and Tunisia.
The company has been expanding its Seedspace network of late, opening its first MENA-based Seedspace hub in Cairo, Egypt, in April, and launching in Cape Town last week. It now enters a fifth market in Africa in the form of Dar es Salaam in partnership with Omidyar Network, the Silicon Valley-based impact investing firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Seedstars, which also has hubs in Lagos and Abidjan, will open the doors of Seedspace Tanzania with an event on July 10. The Seedspace brand is taking a new strategic direction in 2018, launching more co-working spaces and offering entrepreneurs based in them access to a community of changemakers in emerging markets.
“For a long time we’ve been active in the Tanzanian ecosystem, organising Seedstars World and engaging with local and international players. Omidyar Network played a vital role in the process, by supporting the opening of this hub, through which we aim to consolidate our activities in the country, providing Tanzania with access to a robust international community, more than just a space,” said Romulo Navarrete, head of operations at Seedspace.
“Omidyar Network and Seedstars have been major partners for many years. It made great sense now that we joined forces to provide a greater impact to Seedspace members.”
Ameya Upadhyay, investments principal at Omidyar Network, said his firm was thrilled to join forces with Seedstars to provide the entrepreneurial community in Tanzania with a strong platform on which to build their innovative businesses.
“There is no shortage of bold ideas in Tanzania. Through the new Seedspace hub, entrepreneurs will be able to leverage Seedstars’ global network, tech expertise, and startup acceleration programme to execute on those ideas and realise their potential to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa,” he said.
The launch event will bring together speakers including Edwin Bruno, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Smart Codes, Tanya Mulamula, Seedstars World partner and ecosystem builder, and Benjamin Fernandes, founder and CEO at Nala.
“We aim to have 30 hubs around the world by the end of 2018,” said 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.”
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