Bridging
the digital divide

Silicon Savannah Mission

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From 20 to 24 March 2018, Startups.be and Close the Gap join forces to organize a truly unique mission to Kenya, one of the most entrepreneurial countries in Africa, with a startup scene that attracts developers and investors from all over the world.   

Honored by the presence of Minister De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services,

 Engage with Kenya, the Silicon Savannah!  

Africa is the tech continent of the future! As a new generation of young and ambitious people in Africa reaches the adult working age, the number of job openings in African tech startups skyrockets.

At least 370 tech hubs have sprung up all over the continent in the last few years. The number of new tech ventures has also risen to 3.500, with $1 billion in venture capitalavailable to accelerate these companies (2016-2019).

The African tech hubs consistently make headlines in their effort to accelerate technology businesses at the grassroots level. They bring many new ideas and innovations, and provide in a gigantic source of employment opportunities for the local population.

The origin of Africa’s tech movement can be traced back to Kenya, and to its capital Nairobi, that has been home to several major technological innovations in the 21stcentury. These innovations birthed Kenya as the Silicon Valley of Africa, now better known as the Silicon Savannah. Find out more via this link.

Close the Gap and Startups.be, together with key partners GEN Belgium and GEN Kenya, want to raise awareness about the tech boom on the fast-developing continent, and want to link young Belgian companies that have their eyes on the African markets to the local tech ecosystem in Kenya.

Both the organizers also aim for the co-creation of pilot projects in the ‘digital for development’-area, with mixed Kenyan and Belgian teams. Close the Gap strategic idea is to initiate a social impact fund that has the vision to invest in such projects.

During our four-day mission to Kenya, we will visit – amongst other things – the Nailaband other tech incubators in Nairobi, the edutech startup Kytabu (award winner of the prestigious King Boudewijn Foundation African Development Prize), Africa’s most renowned investor Wananchi GroupJumia (the Amazon of Africa), etc.

“Our delegates will get the opportunity to mingle and network with the most prominent players in the local tech ecosystem”, says Frederik Tibau of Startups.be. “We also throw in an ‘innovation challenge’ to stimulate digital co-creation between young Belgian and Kenyan companies.”

“Innovation challenges, that assist entrepreneurs in idea generation and development, stimulate young people to set up a company and make an impact”, argues managing director Olivier Van den Eynde of Close the Gap. “Moreover, the best startups that emerge from those workshops could be potentially supported by Close the Gap.”

Furthermore, participants will get to know the ins and outs of the mobile money transfer service M-pesa (31% of GDP in Kenya is processed through M-Pesa) and the Kenyan kyama’s – micro banks for small communities. A lot of innovation takes place in those small initiatives.

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Will you join us and:

  • Get to know one of the most thriving tech ecosystems in the world.
  • Work together with Kenian startups and co-create winning solutions that can be adopted locally or internationally. 
  • Mingle with fellow entrepreneurs from Kenya and learn from each other.
  • Explore the Kenyan market, and get to know the needs of the locals. 
  • Meet some of the key players in the Kenyan tech industry and in the start-up community. 
  • Learn about the opportunities that arise in Kenya and in Africa, and validate your idea with local entrepreneurs and investors in an interactive setting.
  • Get acquainted with the Kenyan fintech scene, and with the Kenyan micro banks. 
  • Find local partners 
  • … 

Conditions

The price of the mission to Kenya is 1500 euro per person for startups, and 3000 euro per person for corporations and investors including hotel (without VAT). The price excludes flights.

MORE DETAILS ON FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR TRAVEL & STAY:

Flanders
Brussels
Wallonia

To register: Contact frederik.tibau@startups.be ,+32 497 25 56 01 or visit startups.be

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About Startups.be

Startups.be is the one stop shop for Belgian tech entrepreneurs. We partner with startups to reach their global ambition, we facilitate joint innovation with business partners worldwide, and we’re the reference center of expertise in the Belgian startup ecosystem. 

About Close the Gap

Access to information and communication technology (ICT) is essential for people to improve their lives and realize their full potential. Particularly in rural and / or disadvantaged areas in developing countries where people still live off grid and are not connected with the developments in the rest of the world. Providing them with ICT access to information, innovations and global interaction is one of the major drivers of sustainable economic and social development, on an unprecedented scale. We have over a decade of experience in bridging the digital divide and igniting ICT entrepreneurship in Africa and the world.

D4D Platform

First of its kind, the Belgian Digital for Development platform will be launched in November 2017. Its focus is co-creation, creating a knowledge sharing eco system in Belgium on digital for development projects and opportunities, stimulating private sector engagement in the development sector.

About GEN Belgium/ GEN Kenya

The Global Entrepreneurship Network provides a year-round platform of programs and initiatives aimed at creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem. GEN helps people in 170 countries unleash their ideas and turn them into promising new ventures—creating jobs, accelerating innovation and strengthening economic stability around the world.

Ranging from efforts to inspire and educate nascent entrepreneurs to advancing research and connecting global leaders in person, GEN operates in all types of economies and cultures.

The Global Entrepreneurship Network provides a year-round platform of programs and initiatives aimed at creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem. GEN helps people in 170 countries unleash their ideas and turn them into promising new ventures—creating jobs, accelerating innovation and strengthening economic stability around the world. Ranging from efforts to inspire and educate nascent entrepreneurs to advancing research and connecting global leaders in person, GEN operates in all types of economies and cultures.