Seedstars World, the largest seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, has come to its peak during the latest edition Seedstars Summit Africa in South Africa, on December 3rd to 5th. Seedstars, the leading emerging market startup community and investor, selected 10 startups amongst the most promising startups from the continent. The Gambia’s Nadji.bi founded by Gabriel Latjor NDow was among the 10 startups that will represent the African region at the Seedstars Summit 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland and compete for the title of the Seedstars Global Winner, and up to USD 500,000 in equity investment and other prizes.
The other nine startups are Roque Online (Angola), Crop2Cash (Nigeria), Exuus (Rwanda), Pezesha (Kenya), OKO Finance (Mali), Nvoicia (Ghana), Vectra (South Africa), Afrikamart (Senegal), Teheca (Uganda),
“We have successfully developed and field-tested our innovative solutions, such as our smart solar milling machine, smart solar water irrigation system for small scale farms/gardens. This award will contribute significantly towards scaling up our production, staffing and marketing of our solutions in the region.” Gabriel Latjor NDow, CEO & Founder, Nadji.bi Gambia
According to reports from FAO, only 6% of cultivated farmings are done by irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, 83% of all irrigation farming in Sub-Saharan Africa is done by small scale farmers who use inefficient farming technologies with very high operating expenses. Similarly, the post-harvest produce (vegetables, fruits) losses are very high in Africa – an average of 45% (in The Gambia it is 75%) is lost annually. Mr Ndow believes that this award will help them tap into this huge untapped market (e.g. irrigation farming – USD 150 Billion).
David Jeng, Founder of Bliss Executives and representative of Seedstars in the Gambia, also highlighted that Nadji.bi has the potential to scale and grow across the continent and should be supported. “We and our partners are committed to supporting the tech ecosystem of the Gambia to grow and create more jobs.”
More than just a tech conference, the Seedstars Summit Africa was an opportunity for all stakeholders involved to network and create added value for their impact-driven companies.
Before the main day, an intensive growth Bootcamp to teach the 45+ startups how to scale up their businesses. It was followed up by the Investor Forum where the startups had over 180+ one-to-one meetings with top local and international mentors and investors.
“It was very impressive to see all those entrepreneurs from 25+ countries coming together, learning from each other and getting constant support and feedback from mentors, investors, and other industry experts. On top of the content and the networking opportunities they are provided with, their energy is the cherry on the cake”, Anne-Alice Fievet, the Summit Manager.
Among the companies and institutions that made the Seedstars Summit Africa 2019 possible are Microsoft4Startups, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, DOEN, African Development Bank Group, Tshimologong, the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ, France24, Venture Burn, Tech Cabal, HYBR, THUD, Workshop 17, AlphaCode and others.
“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb Seedstars is a Swiss-based private group of companies with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 80 emerging ecosystems through a variety of events such as the Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities.
ABOUT SEEDSTARS WORLD COMPETITION
Seedstars World is the world’s largest startup competition in emerging markets. For the past six years, Seedstars Teams travel around for a 9-month world tour and scout for the best early-stage startups in 65+ countries, organizing 100+ events. One winner is selected to represent each country visited, and is invited to attend one of the 5 Regional Summits, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Local winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, the competition’s final happening in Switzerland, where startups compete for up to $500,000 in investment. The Seedstars Summit is the flagship event of Seedstars, filled with breakout sessions, panel discussions, specialized workshops and the best minds from emerging markets.
ABOUT NADJI.BI GAMBIA
Nadji.Bi is a pan-African start-up specializing in manufacturing smart solar devices/solutions. They conduct primary research and development in the local environment to tackle the myriad of energy challenges faced by Africans ranging from lighting, irrigation, food processing and storage, etc. The firm leverage solar energy, IoT, Big Data, Cloud computing, mobile payment Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGo), localised content and a plethora of modern technologies which make our devices ‘smart’. This way, they help customers become productive and efficient while lowering their operational costs.