Global Investment Advisory firm U- Start launches hunt for Africa’s top 3 early-stage innovative ventures, ripe for investment
U-Start, the international investment advisory firm, fortifies its presence in Africa with an international conference for early stage ventures featuring business pitches from top African enterprises, discussions with national and international investors, elite speakers and panelists. One of the leading events of its kind in South Africa, the U-Start Conference will select and partner a selection of the regions’ most prominent ventures with a body of active global investors. With Platinum sponsors Barclays Africa, MyVigo and The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the U-Start Conference will provide a global platform for early stage innovative companies who wish to leverage and scale their business within and beyond their home-markets.
Hosted at the Radisson Blu, Cape Town, on the 6th March 2014, the conference serves as an integral arm of the international series of global U-Start conferences. The series supports the organization’s principal commitment to exposing emerging market and global start-up prowess to high net-worth funding. With just over 132 international investors, contributing to an estimated fund of €3.8billion under management, Thursday’s event serves as a significant window of opportunity for the lucky ventures.
To participate in the conference please register here: http://www.quicket.co.za/events/3950-u-start-africa-conference/
The Cape Town conference is sponsored by tier 1 entities from the tech, digital, corporate, venture capital and government arenas, including:
Barclays Africa (ABSA)
MyVigo (In partnership with Microsoft Biz Spark)
Western Cape Provincial Government – Department of Economic Development & Tourism
Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)
Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)
Price Waterhouse Coopers
Invenfin Venture Capital
Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa
Online Media Partner:
Social Media Partner
Inside Man Media
Each live conference sees a series of ventures pitch their business models in successive 3-4 minute slots to an audience of global venture capital firms, accelerators, family offices, and local/foreign investors. The successful candidates from each event will be flown to U-Start’s flagship conference held in Milan on 13th -14th May 2014. Here, they will compete for final stage funding and priority access to a pre – engaged network of European investors. The winning 4 ventures flown to Milan will also receive:
– Mentorship, incubation and a training week in Italy.
– One on One Introductions to a wide network of pan-European Investors.
– 1- year free access to the U-Start platform
– International Media Exposure
– Exclusive networking opportunities
– Free private desk at the U-Start winners’ Conference – Milan
Stefano Guidotti, CEO, U-Start said:
We have long appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within Africa. The continent’s profile as a tech’ hot-bed is steadily rising, hosting multiple innovation hubs and co-creation labs across the continent. What is lacking is exposure, awareness and globally led support. Three factors we intend to champion through the Cape Town conference and global iterations of the initiative in 2014.
The companies selected to pitch in Cape Town will be tasked with impressing an audience of tech and digital heavyweights, predominantly from Europe. The global judging panel will include Gavin Ellis, Head of Client Acquisition, Barclays South Africa; James Durrant, UK Founder of Mambo; Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine, Catherine Townshend, Head of Endeavor South Africa; Peter Van Der Zee of IDC Venture Capital; and Stefano Guidotti, CEO of U-Start – amongst other esteemed business leaders. The audience and judging panel will have one common objective: to invest in Africa’s break-through start-ups and early stage ventures of 2014. The selected ventures to pitch in Cape Town include:
The event will also serve as an opportunity for targeted knowledge sharing and network development, with key note speeches from entrepreneur Joana Picq, who has successfully founded 4 businesses in Mobile Media and recently ranked number 10 in the NEXT 100, Gavin Ellis, Head of Client Acquisitions, Barclays Africa, and Amit Pau, Director at Ariadne Capital and Entrepreneur Country (UK).
Zachariah George, COO, U-Start Africa said:
Entrepreneurial talent in South Africa is fast growing to be competitive with the likes of Silicon Valley. This has been pioneered by the rise of several initiatives to boost early stage entrepreneurial activity especially in the technology sector through government programs supporting innovation, the rise of accelerators & incubators, and international investors keen on co-investing with local investment funds. We hope the U-Start conference in Cape Town cements this very shift further.
The U-Start Conference Cape Town has been developed after the success of U-Start’s flagship event in Milan, May 2013. The event, titled Bloom, attracted around 600 delegates, including international start-ups, family offices and investors.
Following on from an immensely successful launch conference held in São Paulo, Brazil – 8th February, The South African leg of the international series will be followed by iterations in Russia, Switzerland and the finale in Milan, all bases of U-Start’s global operation. View the Live-Stream feed of the São Paulo conference here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ustartchannel/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=7
The Cape Town conference will be live- streamed and available for viewing here http://conference.u-start.biz/streaming/conference-africa-live.html
For all enquiries on the U-Start conferences visit the official website: http://conference.u-start.biz/ and, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
U-Start is a global boutique advisory firm offering services targeted at facilitating the matching and cross-border investment between international investors (Angels, VC funds, family offices, corporate offices and wealth management institutions mostly based in Europe) and early stage companies, globally.
U-Start also offers an innovative online platform, serving as the entry point to a suite of advisory services, facilitating the investment partnership and scaling of businesses into international markets. More info at www.u-start.biz