April 6th 2017, Swiss Tech Convention Center at EPFL, Lausanne

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, November 22, 2017 – Did you know that 57% of the Global GDP is located in emerging markets[1]? Or that USD 770 billion was the B2C e-commerce turnover in Asia Pacific, representing 43% of world market share[2] and that 80% of all smartphones will be located in Emerging Markets, by 2020[3]?
We believe it is fundamental that companies access these high growth opportunities and get the first mover advantage, so with the support of partners such as the SPECo, PayU, TRECC and Intel, we’ll be hosting the Seedstars Summit to address how technology and innovation from emerging markets will be impacting businesses in the next decade. The highlight of the event will be the final ceremony of the Seedstars World competition, where up to USD 1 million of equity investment will be awarded to our winners, as well as SaaS prizes worth over USD 90’000 for each winning startup from over 20 partners including AWS, Microsoft and Facebook Start.

Last year, the Seedstars Summit gathered 1000 guests from 55+ countries, where the 53 startup finalists gathered together with 100+ mentors and investors, culminating in 400 one-on-one meetings. Important prizes and investments were made such as the co-investment by Seedstars and Omidyar, into the Seedstars World global winner, Giraffe, representing South Africa.

For this year’s fourth edition, 70 handpicked startups from 65 countries will be flying over to Switzerland together with other European entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, HNWIs, family offices, corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts to join us for this unique experience. The event will take place on April 6th at the Swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne, where up to USD 500’000 in equity investment will be made in the “Seedstars World Global Winner”. The best startups in categories such as FinTech, Education, Intel Solutions, Most Innovative Startup, Best Woman Entrepreneur as well as the Public Vote Winner will also be awarded investments and other prizes by top industry leaders.
THE COMPETITION – More than 4’000 startups from Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America applied to participate in Seedstars World this year.  Among the amazing startups we have encountered are some incredible stories such as MyCash Online,  winner for Malaysia, who created an e-Marketplace specifically designed for migrants living in Malaysia and Singapore to purchase products without online banking; Dalil our winner from Algeria whose founder is visually impaired and designed an object recognition and navigation system to help people deal with the same condition and WI-Connect, who is targeting the lack of internet access in Angola and created a profitable business partnering with corporates to offer free wi-fi hot-spot zones.

List of cities visited in 2016 with Seedstars World Competition:seedstars-summit


20 local events


Bahía Blanca, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Guadalajara, Lima, Mendoza, Mexico City, Montevideo, Panama, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rosario, San Jose , Santa Cruz, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Sao Paulo, Vicente Lopez

          CEE & MENA

22 local events


Alexandria, Algeria, Amman, Astana, Baku, Beirut, Chisinau, Dnepr, Dubai, GCC, GCC, Istanbul, Kiev, Moscow, Odessa, Prague, Tbilisi, Tehran, Tunis, Ukraine, Warsaw, Yerevan



18 local events


Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bamako, Cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Durban, Harare, Johannesburg, Kampala, Khartoum, Kigali, Lagos, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Nairobi, Soweto

        ASIA & OCEANIA

17 local events


Bangalore, Bangkok, Bangkok, Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Yangon

SEEDSTARS BOOTCAMP & SEMIFINALS – 70 finalists will be coming to Switzerland to participate in a two day bootcamp where international investors & mentors from top accelerators like The Founder’s Institute and 500startups, as well as top firms such as eBay, Amazon and Swiss Re, will coach these entrepreneurs on their business models, pitching skills and growth strategy. The semifinals, where the startups will not only pitch in front of international investors but participate in one-on-one’s with these investors (400 sessions organised on the last Seedstars Summit), will eliminate most of the startups from the competition. Only the top 12 startups will take part in the final round, the following day, during the Seedstars Summit.

THE SUMMIT & FINAL CEREMONY – In addition to the final ceremony, where several prizes and investments will be announced, the aim of the Summit is to discuss how to do business in emerging markets and the opportunities in building technology companies. The Summit will kick off with workshops and panels covering a wide range of topics such as: “How to sell entrepreneurship & innovation to governments”, “How to pimp your cross-borders network” or “Innovations from EM that will impact how you live in 10 years”. During the final ceremony of Seedstars Summit other than the final pitches, top speakers soon to be announced will join us on the mainstage to provide valuable insights on their businesses and investments (soon to be announced here!). Among previous speakers are Fabio Cannavale, CEO of group, Nina Teng, VP of Grab (the first Malaysian unicorn), Bright Simons, president of mPedigree, Dmitry Galperin, Investment Director of Runa Capital in Russia and Jesse Moore, CEO of MKOPA Solar in Kenya.

NEW PRIZES – In addition to the investment by Seedstars of up to USD 500’000 for the Seedstars World Global Winner, the FinTech investment track powered by PayU, will offer a chance for investment to the best FinTech startup, 1 pass access to the Seedstars Growth program and 5 tickets to Silicon Valley for a FinTech tour. In partnership with TRECC, a grant of USD 50k will be awarded to the best startup with the goal to enhance education for communities in rural areas while in partnership with Intel, we will be rewarding the best startup in the IT and software solutions. Finally, Hublot, official Timekeeper of Seedstars Summit, will award two emblematic watches – prize for the most innovative startup and the best woman entrepreneur of the Seedstars World 4th edition.


The Summit is open to public. Final pass & Executive pass are available HERE (early bird tickets will end on December 31st).

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

Seedstars is a Swiss based group of companies which has the goal of impacting people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. Seedstars connects stakeholders within these ecosystems, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high growth startups. Through different activities of startup scouting, company building and acceleration programs, the team has now access to entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, corporations and government officials from 60+ countries. The Seedstars group includes Seedstars World, a worldwide startup competition, sourcing in 60+ emerging markets the top talent from these regions; Seedstars Growth, a three month virtual acceleration program; Seedspace a network of co-working and co-living spaces now in 25+ countries and Seedstars Academy, a six months program to train aspiring local entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses.

SOME OF OUR PARTNERS                                                                                              Find all our partners here

[1]IMF, World Economic Outlook 2014

[2]European Commission, Global B2C E-commerce Report 2015

[3]GMSA, Smartphone forecasts and assumptions, 2007-2020