Startup contest coming to Samoa

By Alexander Rheeney 24 September 2019, 12:00PM

Seedstars – the largest early-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes – is coming to Samoa for the first time. 

With the support of the industry body for mobile phone operators, the GSM Association (G.S.M.A.) and the Australian government, Seedstars will hold a two-day boot camp on September 24-25, before the public pitching event on September 26. 

The companies invited to the training session and to privately pitch at the Seedstars Apia event must have raised less than USD$500,000 in funding and built a minimum viable product. 

The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: potential for regional and global scalability.

The Australian High Commission Charge d’Affaires in Apia, Amanda Jewell, said the Australian government is committed to support the development of the system to facilitate trade and investment. 

“Australia is committed to supporting the development of local entrepreneurial ecosystems and to facilitate access to investment on a regional and global level,” she said.

“The Australian government is excited to partner with the G.S.M.A. Ecosystem Accelerator and Seedstars to bring this world-wide competition to Samoa,”

Besides representing Samoa at the Seedstars regional summit, the winner will get a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Switzerland, to compete at the Seedstars summit for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to USD$500,000 in equity investments and other prizes.

The applications were open until September 20 and startups were invited to apply. 

After careful screening, the Seedstars team has shortlist around 10 of the best seed-stage startups to participate in training and one-on-one meetings with regional and local mentors to solve the challenges they are facing. The startups will be introduced to a number of concepts, such as the lean startup methodology, to constantly listen to their target customers to reach product-market fit and get ready to receive investments.

“At Seedstars, we believe talent and good ideas are everywhere. We see ourselves as a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs in places where normally people wouldn’t think startup ecosystem have such traction, growth and buzz. We are very excited to be in Samoa, highlighting such a bustling entrepreneurship ecosystem and we are here to witness the reality” said Rosie Keller, regional manager for Asia at Seedstars. 

“We are also experts in identifying which are the ones to pull through and how. We’re impressed by what we have seen in the region so far and cannot wait to add startups from Samoa on our map.”

Seedstars connects entrepreneurs to global experts and mentors, emerging market-specific training materials based on best practices and access to the Seedstars Global investor network. Seedstars is working closely with partners such as the Australian government, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Enterprise Center. 

By Alexander Rheeney 24 September 2019, 12:00PM

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