The forthcoming Seedstars continental summit in Maputo, Mozambique presents Rwanda start-ups a big opportunity as it brings together entrepreneurs, investors and other industry players.
Junior Kanamugire, founder of Pikiwash, a Taxi motos care startup, will represent Rwanda at the summit slated for December this year. It will bring together all the 20 winners from all over the African Continent, for a two-day boot camp and trainings from several African investors.
Seedstars is the biggest startup annual competition in emerging markets.
Kanamugire said that he is ready to use this opportunity to mainly network and meet with several potential investors.
“I want to expand PikiWash to other African countries and use the opportunity to interact with investors and businessmen from those regions. I am working every dayat improving my presentation,” he said.
Winning the Seedstars Rwanda competition
Winning the Seedstars Rwanda competition, came as a huge surprise for the Pikiwash founder.
“The competition is very tech oriented but I was the odd man out, because mine was about washing motorcycles. Everyone else had a website, an app and ICT to push their product,” he said.
Kanamugire beat the other 11 competitors in a very intense competition that took place at K-Lab, in Kigali, last week.
“The competition was running for a few weeks, but PikiWash only applied at the last minute. I was very interested in the networking opportunities and the prize money that came with it,” he says.
He reveals that his biggest push was the environmental and social factors, given that ‘Pikiwash is ecofriendly by recycling water and avoiding chemical and oils spilling into the environment and the social impact that it has on the clients is that it saves them the time and money so they can go back on the road much quicker and increase the turnover.’
In April next year, Kanamugire will head to Geneva, Switzerland for the global competition where all the 80 selected countries will pitch for the grand prize of $500,000.
The fifth edition of the annual summit will attract 80 tech startups and top industry players from countries around the world and will be attended by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, top corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts.
It will focus on how technology and innovation can be used to improve business operations and services in emerging markets in the next decade.
“The competition has a lot categories where I am qualified for the ‘best environmental friendly’ and ‘social impact’. The biggest incentive for me is to get to network and to get to interact with entrepreneurs and business angel investors.”
“I believe that I have a very good model especially on the side of social impact and environment. If I do not get the money, I believe that I will have gotten so much more,” he told Sunday Times.