Uganda’s largest bank gets behind Seedstars project
July 18—Stanbic Bank Uganda (SBU) is helping to identify and nurture young, upcoming Ugandan entrepreneurial talent by sponsoring the national edition of the 2017 Seedstars project with the ultimate prize of $1 million being offered by the Swiss-based organization.
“We are extremely proud and excited to be sponsors of the Seedstars project. This is a fantastic initiative which gives young and upcoming entrepreneurs across the country the opportunity to show case creativity and innovation in business,” Wayne Cook, the SBU Head of Business Banking said.
Every year, Seedstars World, the biggest seed stage startup competition for emerging markets, scouts for the top high growth startups and entrepreneurs and accelerates them on their path to global success. Seedstars World is a part of the Swiss group Seedstars, founded in September 2012, which has the objective to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
During the 2017 edition of the tour, they will visit over 25 cities across sub-Saharan Africa to host boot-camps and pitch competitions. The winner from each country is invited to the finals the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland next year to compete for equity investment and additional multiple prizes and perks which could top $1 million.
Cook said, “As Stanbic Bank, we strongly believe in nurturing young business talent and supporting the growth of start-up companies, because we recognize their potential and what their new concepts can do to transform society.”
The deadline for entries is July 27, 2017 and the competition is now open. Up to 10 of the best seed stage startups in Uganda will be shortlisted and then invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete in Switzerland.
SBU is Uganda’s biggest bank and is a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. Standard Bank Group reported total assets of R1.95 trillion ($143 billion) as at December 31st, 2016, while its market capitalisation was at R245 billion ($18 billion).
With over 40,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) clients, SBU is the market leader in a key segment which is very important to the country’s growth.
Talking about the application process and minimum criteria, Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World said, “The companies selected to pitch at the Kampala event need to be less than two years old, have raised less than $500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction.
“The Seedstars World team is searching for one additional criterion – the startup’s regional and global scalability,” she said.
Seedstars World is working closely with Outbox Hub so that local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible outcome, are guided throughout the process.
“Our collaboration with Seedstars has gone beyond just putting Ugandan startups on the global stage. The relationships built from the network and exposure from Seedstars is one of the best benefits I did not foresee. This has placed us in a unique position within the local market to extend these relations beyond Seedstars participants to the general local ecosystem.” Richard Zulu, co-founder at Outbox Hub said.