Seedstars Reimagines its World Competition Online: 2020 Applications are Open

The world’s largest competition for the most innovative entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, is happy to announce that its Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 will be held exclusively online. Following the success of its Online Seedstars Summit on April 3rd, 2020, the company decided to digitally redesign its events worldwide, to ensure the safety of its partners and community in the scope of the exceptional COVID-19 sanitation crisis. With a mission to create a positive impact through technology and entrepreneurship, this was also the opportunity to open the competition to more startups, and the great news is: the applications are now open.

“As the open-call for the Seedstars World Competition has now launched, we could not be prouder to support a community that is eager and capable of taking concrete and constructive steps. By remaining independent while always standing in solidarity, we aim to go beyond physical interactions in order to create an impact on broader society”, says Pierre-Alain Masson, Co-Founder of Seedstars. 

Organizing local competitions in 94 cities in emerging markets, Seedstars has opened the applications for startups until July 31st. The company will then train more than 1,800 startups through the Online Seedstars Academy and select one local startup winner per city to take part in the Regional stage competition. The startups selected for each region will then compete at the Grand Finale to be held in April 2021. 

Basic Requirements

The call for applications is opening its doors to startups from multiple countries and cities around the world. The competition is looking for technology startups, tech-enabled ventures, and/or early-stage companies that fit the following criteria:

  • Must have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP);
  • initial traction with their users;
  • ongoing operations based in the country/city of application; and
  • must have no previous investments larger than USD 1 million up to date of application.

Following the digitalization trends of traditional onsite events, the Seedstars World tour has become the Online Seedstars World Competition, a fully virtual experience accessible via Seedstars Life, a dedicated platform setup to host the regional and global events. Reaching much larger audiences while providing the same benefits to its startups, investors and partners, the Competition launching in June 2020 will seek for the most promising startups across 90+ ecosystems who will compete in the running for the title of Seedstars World Global Winner and the prize of up to USD 500,000 in investment. 

Seedstars is often defined as an investor, an accelerator, an entrepreneur and a startup competition. But it goes way beyond that. “We have become a global community with over 150,000 members. It is a community that defines itself by its people and their shared purpose that together we can achieve great things and build a better future”, says Alisée de Tonnac, Co-Founder of Seedstars. “That’s what we’re conveying through our #WeareSeedstars campaign. Our goal is to identify and empower the most innovative startups around the world, by providing the means to share entrepreneurial education and investment. We want to give a global opportunity to those who don’t have access to resources, facilitate growth for entrepreneurs in emerging markets and act as a catalyst for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem” she adds. 

As a remote team providing online programs since it was created in 2013, Seedstars has been transcending borders ever since and continues to bring change through innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. With its Online World Competition, Seedstars lives up to its core philosophy, by repurposing its activities using technological tools. Constantly transforming to face ever-challenging environments, the company is committed to helping other organizations face the crisis and adapt their business models. In times of uncertainty, Seedstars continues to learn and transfer knowledge to its partners and community. 

How to Apply

To send in your applications and to find out more about the competition, you may visit the Online Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 page here:  and you will find your city competition page.

You can also apply from the Seedstars Banjul Page if you are based in the Gambia.

Gambia’s was among the top 10 startups that represented Africa in 2020 competition.

Application deadline: 15th August 2020



Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the Online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities. 

“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb 


In 2013, Seedstars started as Seedstars World, an initiative created by founding partners Pierre-Alain Masson and Alisée de Tonnac who, equipped with a backpack and passion to change the world, set on a world tour across 20 entrepreneurial ecosystems to scout for the most promising early-stage startups and build the largest entrepreneurial community in emerging markets. 

The first startup competition in 13 countries was a massive success and gained attention on a global scale. It showed to the world the untapped potential of developing economies, innovative solutions and talented entrepreneurs willing to transform their communities. This led to larger tours for the following six years, bringing together thousands of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and experts. Today, Seedstars World is the largest startup competition in emerging markets.

However, in 2020, things are taking on a new twist. Reimagining its World Tour online, Seedstars will now digitally travel across the globe for a 9-month world tour to scout for the best early-stage startups in 90+ countries, organizing 100+ online local competitions. One winner will be selected to represent each country and will be invited to attend one of the 5 Regional stage competitions, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Regional winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Grand Finale, the competition’s final happening each year in April, where startups compete for up to $500,000 in investment.

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