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All-woman Panel to Select Seedstars Nairobi Winner From 10 Kenyan Startups

Seedstars World, one of the world’s largest startup competitions, has selected 10 Kenyan startups to pitch at Seedstars Nairobi this Friday (28 June).

The sixth edition of Seedstars Nairobi will be hosted by Nailab and the 10 will appear — for the first time in a Seedstars pitch — in front of an all-women judging panel.

Seedstars said this year’s pitching competition will be a closed-door event, and will also for the first time have an all women jury panel to select the most promising startup.

Seedstars regional manager for Africa Claudia Makadristo explained in a statement today that it is part of the competition’s efforts to increase women participation on all levels, including for its mentors, experts, startups and jury (see this story and this Q&A for more).

“We are extremely excited to work with this jury panel on selecting the most promising startup in Nairobi and we believe that the closed-door event format will allow us to ask some more sensitive and in-depth questions to the entrepreneurs,” said Makadristo.

The jury consists of Makadristo as well as Financial Sector Deepening Africa Investments CIO Anne-Marie Chidzero, East Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association executive director Eva Warigia, AHL Venture Partners portfolio manager Tsakane Ngoepe, Zephyr Acorn investment consultant Wanjiru Chabeda and LGT Impact associate director Winnie Ibuyako.

The startup that wins the event will receive an all-inclusive trip to represent Kenya at the Seedstars Africa Summit.

In addition the Seedstars Nairobi winner will also be in the standing to win a spot at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland where the winner will take home a $500 000 investment prize, as well as three months access to an investment readiness programme.

Angel investor meetup

Seedstars also announced that prior to the event it will, in collaboration with the African Business Angel Network (Aban), host a four-hour long angel investor meetup.

The event, it said, will be a unique opportunity for investors to network, gain key insights, knowledge, as well as access to Seedstars and ABAN deal flow.

The 10 startups selected to pitch at the event operate in the fintech, medtech, agritech, logistics and blockchain verticals. They are:

  1. Ilara Health: Ilara Health makes common diagnostics accessible and affordable to the 500 million people in Africa who today struggle to access even basic blood tests.
  2. Julla: Julla is a point of sale financing company that enables users to purchase items now and pay later.
  3. Lentera: Lentera combines data from ground sensors, drone imaging and satellite imaging to provide actionable insights to help farmers increase their yield and reduce the cost of fertiliser and pesticides.
  4. Nurse-In-Hand: Nurse-in-Hand partners with county governments to offer first responder and home-based care services to geriatrics and pregnant mothers in Kenya.
  5. Pesabase: Pesabase is set of remittance, payment and banking solutions that use the blockchain to provide financial simplification and inclusion in Africa.
  6. Pezesha: Pezesha is a digital financial marketplace that facilitates credit scoring and affordable credit for the un-banked by connecting them with lenders.
  7. Shamba Records: Shamba Records is a distributed ledger that runs on Blockchain and uses big data and artificial intelligence to collect farm records. This digitised system can be used to track, identify and verify their harvest.
  8. Smatbeba: Smatbeba has developed a cargo hailing application and web-interface that links cargo owners to delivery vehicles.
  9. WorkPay: Workpay is an employee management and payment solution with features that include biometrics, automated salary payments to banks and mobile wallets.
  10. Tanda: This fintech startup aims to revolutionise access to goods and essential digital financial services for small businesses cross Africa. Tanda enables micro-retailers to not only access inventory on credit, but also become access points for essential services such as airtime, utility payments, mobile banking and insurance for their customers.

 

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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].