Rwanda's rep at Seedstars contest in Geneva confident of winning part of $1m prize money

The forthcoming Seedstars World Summit in Geneva, Switzerland presents Rwanda start-ups a big opportunity as it brings together entrepreneurs, investors and other industry players. Joanna Bichsel of Kasha (kasha.rw), a retail mobile platform that sells and delivers women’s health products like sanitary pads and contraceptives, will represent Rwanda at the summit.
Bichsel (left) and the Kasha team pose for a group photo in Kigali. (Courtesy)
Bichsel (left) and the Kasha team pose for a group photo in Kigali. (Courtesy)

The forthcoming Seedstars World Summit in Geneva, Switzerland presents Rwanda start-ups a big opportunity as it brings together entrepreneurs, investors and other industry players. Joanna Bichsel of Kasha (kasha.rw), a retail mobile platform that sells and delivers women’s health products like sanitary pads and contraceptives, will represent Rwanda at the summit.

Seedstars is the biggest startup competition in emerging markets.

Bichsel said the summit slated for April will focus on how technology and innovation can be used to improve business operations and services in emerging markets in the next decade. It will feature a two-day boot camp and a ceremony to award the global winner.

“They are looking for businesses that have the potential to grow and create more jobs. So, I am working hard to ensure I present a compelling pitch and a strong business plan to convince the panel about Kasha’s potential and its importance to our community, especially women… I’m ready to represent Rwanda,” she told The New Times on Tuesday.

“My day-to-day life is now focused on preparing for the pitch and I am doing several pitches at different locations. With Seedstars, I should say, as my startup is growing, which gives assurance for more opportunities and expansion,” she added.

According to the event organisers, the fourth edition of the annual summit will attract the 70 tech startups and top industry players from 65 countries around the world.

The event will be attended by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, top corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts, according to a statement by Marcello Schermer, the regional Seedstars manager for Africa.

The Seedstars World competition final ceremony will be the highlight of the event that takes place on April 6 at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne. The best start-ups stand to win $1 million (Rwf841 million) in equity investment, as well as prizes worth over $90,000 for each winning startup.

The competition is supported by AWS, Microsoft and Facebook Start. Last year, 53 start-up finalists pitched their idea at the third edition of Seedstars Summit.

 

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