By Nigar Orujova
Seedstars Baku Winner Manads will represent Azerbaijan at the Seedstars World Grand Final in Geneva.
The startup will be competing against 35 other startups from emerging markets at the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast growing startup scenes.
Baku-based startup Manads, which won Seedstars Baku last April, will compete in Geneva at its Final Event to achieve $500K investment on February 4.
Seedstars World looks for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market.
In Baku, Manads presented an innovative marketing tool, where users download the app and get paid for viewing advertisements as they answer phone calls. After winning the regional event in Azerbaijan on April 18, Manads Co-Founder Orkhan Rzayev stated: “It was an exciting competition and we cannot wait to present Manads in Geneva!”
More than 1,500 startups from Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America applied to participate in Seedstars World.
During its world tour in 2014, Nellie Horn and Julien Berthomier, Seedstars World’s Global Scouts, hosted local competitions in 36 countries to find the best locally grown startups.
In February, Seedstars World will be welcoming all the startup finalists for the Grand Final in Switzerland. Countries represented at Seedstars World include Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Iran, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
Based in Switzerland and founded by Alisee de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition is supported by the venture builder Seedstars SA.
After its first successful edition in 2013 across 20 cities, SSW expanded its competition massively to more than 30 countries. Every regional event featured up to 20 startups, during which they had to prove their worth in six minutes of pitching time and withstand the questions from a local jury of experts. Regional winners are then invited back to Geneva for the Grand Final.
“Seedstars World is the culmination of a nine month search for the world’s most innovative tech startup outside Silicon Valley,” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “Seedstars World will hold its worldwide competition every year and we are expecting to grow exponentially to all the corners of the world.”
Startup finalists will take part in a three-day bootcamp organized in partnership with EPFL, the leading European engineering school. International investors & mentors from top accelerators like BBooster, The Founder’s Institute, Chinaccelerator as well as from the business strategy consultancy Galixo will coach them on their business model.
The winner of the global startup competition will be announced during the Final Event hosted on the first day of the Lift Conference, one of the top innovation and tech conferences in Europe.
The Seedstars World winner will be chosen by a jury composed of top investors such as Johnny el Hachem, the CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Seedstars World’s investment partner, Jose Marin the founder of Serendipity Investments and Jessica Thorell of Investment AB Kinnevik; and top entrepreneurs such as, Jens Lapinski, the managing director of Techstars and Marco Corradino, the co-founder of Bravofly Group.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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