* Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship
* The Malawian company Neytech Solutions offers technology solutions to businesses, individual, organizations as well as government institutions.
* Its services include web design and development; database design and development; software design and development as well a research design and implementation
By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawian technology company, AgriTech Startup, has been identified amongst 93 other countries to participate in the African regional finals of the 2020 Seedstars World Competition.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
Its activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities.
AgriTech Startup is managed under mother company, Neytech Solutions, an innovation firm that seeks to innovate everything that seems not to work with modern way of doing things, such as farming, transport, education, health among others.
While AgriTech startup is a company that is looking to or planning to venture in agriculture business with an element of technology as the center of its business model.
Founder and managing director, Kondwani Ney Mushali said Neytech offers technology solutions to businesses, individual, organizations as well as government institutions.
“Our services include web design and development; database design and development; software design and development as well a research/survey design and implementation,” Mushali said.
“We also offer mobile app development; computer trainings for professionals; network design and installation; digital marketing and branding; graphic design; IT consultancy and web and email hosting.
He said they qualified to join the Seedstars World Competition after been recommended by Mhub, from their past experiences with them, who saw the potential in the company’s various innovations.
“They invited us to apply and after going through a training we were identified as country winners.
“In Malawi, we market our company through different channels, but mostly we try to take advantage of our social media expertise.
“We have been in the newspaper a couple times as well as on radios but not often because we fill its expensive but not overly effective.”
Their offices are situated in Lilongwe Area 36, along M1 Road — opposite Partners in Hope Hospital, inside St. Johns Secondary School in Ecumenical Building.
Mushali contends that Malawi can do much better if the people embrace change via technology.
“We can have many innovations but if the country cannot adopt it, its very hard to improve. I feel we need to embrace homegrown innovations because we have many great innovations here which die because of lack of support from the public.”
According to Seedstars, there are 25 startups from the Africa region who are set to compete for a spot at the global finale, whose the grand prize is $500,000.
“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets,” Eugenia Shevchenko, leader of of the Seedstars World Competition 2020 in a statement.
“The online format of the competition allowed us to dream and go bigger as we reached a larger audience and invited more startups from all the cities of each country to apply.
“Now, we can’t wait for our local winners to represent their countries in the webisodes of the regional stage of the competition.“
Seedstars World Competition strives to scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions and this year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications.
From there, 1,200 startups participated in the online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.
Regional manager Lorraine Davis is quoted as saying: “It has been inspiring seeing entrepreneurs from across the region soldier on through the pandemic and continue to work hard on their solutions.
“We have met incredible entrepreneurs and are excited to see them competing at the regional stage for a chance to be at the Seedstars Grande Finale in 2021. We wish all the local winners the best of luck for the regional stage competition.”
The media statement says the regional stage of the competition will include a month-long investment readiness program, modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready.
It will consist of action-driven webinars on key business metrics and online office hours — where startups can discuss challenges they are facing.
There also will be domain groups and one-on-one mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities and and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.
Online episodes for the regional stage of the competition will be aired at the end of January 2021 and viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories.
The competition was initiated in 2013, by founding partners Pierre-Alain Masson and Alisée de Tonnac who, equipped with a backpack and passion to change the world, set on a world tour across 20 entrepreneurial ecosystems to scout for the most promising early-stage startups and build the largest entrepreneurial community in emerging markets.
The first startup competition in 13 countries was a massive success and gained attention on a global scale.
It showed to the world the untapped potential of developing economies, innovative solutions and talented entrepreneurs willing to transform their communities.
This led to larger tours for the following six years, bringing together thousands of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and experts. Today, Seedstars World is the largest startup competition in emerging markets.