WINDHOEK, Sept. 13 – This year, the Namibia University of Science and Technology Fabrication Laboratory (NUST FABlab), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme 2 (SAIS), have partnered into a colossal cooperative entity aiming to facilitate real change in the country.
The local start-up scene is still in its infancy, but when the three major institutions join forces, they expect big things will be achieved.
Technology and start-ups are being taken to the next level and Namibian business will undoubtedly never be the same again.
FABlab, GIZ and SAIS are co-hosting a PITCH NIGHT on September 26th, 2017 for local start-ups who are aligned with the United Nations SDG’s
(Sustainable Development Goals).
The best pitch will be awarded the opportunity to attend the renowned SLUSH event at the end of the year, sponsored by SAIS.
SLUSH is Europe’s leading start-up and technology event held annually in Helsinki, Finland. More than 17500 attendees descend on the Finnish capital to grow their business, where entrepreneurs, business owners can exchange ideas and network with each other, pushing their businesses and technology to the next level.
The event helps the next generation of great, world-conquering companies to expand and grow exponentially with support from global leaders, founders,
investors and experienced entrepreneurs. In 2016 over 2300 start-ups and 1100 investors attended SLUSH, and this year will undoubtedly see more and more
innovators flocking to Finland, amongst them Namibia’s most promising young start-up.
FABlab Director and Co-Founder, Kirstin Wiedow, said “This is an amazing opportunity for the country’s young innovators. We are excited to be working
with a fantastic cohort of passionate supporters of Namibia; the Finnish team at the SAIS programme and the German team at GIZ. Together we will be
hosting the PITCHNIGHT on the 26th of September where the finalists have the opportunity to present to a hand-picked and highly knowledgeable jury and
the most promising start-up winner will be chosen. The online applications opened recently and we already have some exciting applicants in the mix.”
The applicants need to be assessed to check that they meet all the minimum qualifying criteria and only a few will make it through to the grand finale
Some jury members already confirmed who will support the selection of the Namibian representatives are; PWC Namibia, Baobab Capital, One Economy Foundation and Weatherman&Co with more jury members set to be released up to the date of the event.
SAIS will finance Namibia’s most promising start-up, who will be provided with a tailor-made facilitated trip around the Helsinki start-up ecosystem.
This will help them further their business prior to attending this world-class event and gain insight and networking prospects. Highlights of
this year’s SLUSH event are speakers such as David Helgason, Founder of Unity Technologies, and Tom Hulme of Google Ventures, Leap Motions CEO
Micheal Buckwald and Lu Zhang of NewGen Capital. – Ignatius Mutasa