Geneva, Switzerland – May 20, 2021: After almost a year-long virtual run, the Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 announced this year’s Global Winner, Malaysian FinTech startup Finology, a startup that enables seamless access to financial products via the use of proprietary technology and digital distribution channels. Finology will receive the grand prize of $500K in equity investment. Watch the Grand Finale replay here: seedsta.rs/SSW20GrandFinale
Since 2013, the Seedstars World Competition has grown to be the largest startup competition in emerging markets, but the unique pandemic situation led to the online transformation of this year’s edition.
Virtually travelling to 94 startup ecosystems across Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Asia, the Seedstars team had narrowed down over 5,000 startup applications to the top five startup finalists in the running for the grand prize of up to $500,000 USD in investment.
Each startup took turns pitching to jury members Salman T. Jaffrey, CIO of Wa’ed Ventures, Shannon Kala-yana-mitr, CEO of 5G Catalyst Technologies and Advisor at Gobi partners, and Charlie Graham-Brown, CIO of Seedstars. The five finalists of this year’s competition included startups from five regions:
- Fulfillment Bridge (Tunisia)- A cloud based global e-commerce logistics platform offering warehousing in 4 continents, fulfillment, shipping, return management and more.
- Finology (Malaysia)- Finology enables seamless access to financial products via the use of our technology & ready digital distribution channels.
- Pegasi (Venezuela)- Makes healthcare information accessible, clear and useful for patients, physicians and service providers in the developing world.
- IMAN (Uzbekistan)- A marketplace that brings together merchants, shoppers, and investors at the point of sale using the principles of Islamic finance.
- Ladda (Nigeria)- A startup democratizing access to investment for retail investors backed up by financial literacy.
After deliberation, Finology emerged as this year’s Global Winner. Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Seedstars Alisée de Tonnac shared, “Finology showed us a lot of promise in their mission to bridge together financial institutions and individuals by making financial products accessible for everyone. The Seedstars team believes that they will effectively help lead the way forward in the ever increasing digitization of the financial sector. A big congratulations from Seedstars to the Finology team!”
Call for Code Fair Work Case Competition
UNITING STUDENTS TO DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE
GLOBAL ECONOMIC FUTURE
How can technology address the challenge of making decent job creation, entrepreneurship, and fair, sustainable labor a lifelong opportunity of economic growth for all?
On October 6, Call for Code, presented by IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative University, will launch the 2022 Call for Code Fair Work Case Competition. The competition calls on collegiate-level students around the world to imagine innovative solutions that advances the future of work.
The challenge will run October 6-20, 2022 and asks both non-technical and technical university-level student teams to devise innovative business cases that can advance inclusive, scalable workforce development. The competition theme is inspired by the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal 8. Solutions should address one of the diverse challenges aligned to this theme and demonstrate how technology can help communities in need. While solution submissions do not need to include working code, teams will need to describe the technologies required and how those technologies fit into the solution.
SGD 8: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal8
ANSWER THE CALL
As current students, the world needs your expertise, empathy, and unique perspective. Get mentored by entrepreneurs, technologists, and leaders during the competition. Network with other university students from around the world, and compete for prizes from a total pool of $22,000 USD, which includes a $12,000 USD grand prize!
Register for the Case Competition today and help design the fair work of the future. Learn more and get started
Answer the call: https://callforcode-case.bemyapp.com
IBM Skills Build: https://skillsbuild.org/
UNDP to set up state-of-the-art Innovation Hub at Makerere
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is set to build a state-of-the-art innovation hub at Makerere University that is aimed at skilling students in various sectors with a view to empowering startups and creating jobs.
The Makerere Innovation hub will be established through UNDP’s Timbuktoo initiative, a US$1 billion youth innovation financing facility for Africa which aims to scale 1,000 high growth start-ups, improve 50 million livelihoods and generate US$10 billion in value creation.
UN Resident Representative in Uganda Ms. Elsie Attafuah said the partnership with Makerere is anchored on five strategic areas; fostering innovation ecosystems in public universities, leveraging the role of universities in grassroots development and establishing a regular innovation expo as a platform for youth innovators to network.
Others are; promoting research on resilience, and strengthening gender equality in public institutions.
UNDP is establishing the University Innovation Hub/Pod where ten (10) other African Countries are also beneficiaries. Makerere is well placed to host this innovation pod which will be interdisciplinary in nature bringing together students, academia, and partners from all fields, she said.
She added that the University Innovation hub will provide University Students with: Maker-Spaces that accord service to both engineering as well as creative design projects, with a standard set of equipment; a Design Lab that offers a host of programs in design thinking.
“The hub will support students to apply design principles toward solving any problem they are tackling; Collaborative Working Spaces to enable students create business ideas and host product demos, training events, speaker talks, other community and collaboration building events,” Ms. Attafuah added.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe welcomed the partnership with UNDP.
“I am delighted that Makerere will finally host an innovation hub to facilitate the transformation from research to commercial projects,” he said.
“The innovation hub will help us incubate the ideas developed by our students to ensure that they form companies that will create jobs for the many students we graduate every year,” he added.
The Makerere Vice Chancellor said the Parish Development Model Policy lab will hopefully rescue the well-intended program from the public naysayers.
Prof. Ezra Suruma, the Makerere University Chancellor, also welcomed the partnership
“When I was in the Office of the Prime Minister, we focused so much on the problem of implementation. As Makerere, we have to focus on making sure the Parish Development Model trickles down to the people at the grassroots to ensure poverty alleviation,” he said.
“As we sign this partnership, I hope this will set the ball rolling for innovative programs for societal transformation in the next 100 years of Makerere University,” he added.
The innovation hub, will be headed by Dr. Cathy Ikiror Mbidde, a Lecturer in the School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS).
Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa RFAs
The Digital Health Payment Initiative and Research in Africa (DHPI-R), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project that is implemented in Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) Senegal is thrilled to announce an OPEN CALL FOR REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS. This will foster widespread, sustainable adoption and application of Digital Financial Service innovations within the health sector of low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Focus Research Areas/ Research Themes
DHPI-R is seeking applications for studies that address the evidence gaps listed.
1) Campaign Effectiveness
2) Digital Financial Services’ effects on financial inclusion, safety, and security of payments
3) Health worker performance and retention
4) Payment experience and financial behavior
For any request made in this call, the budget goes as follows;
Large studies:12 months $200,000
Medium studies: 9 months $100,000
Small studies: 6 months $60,000
All Institutions within sub-Saharan Africa
Funding Restrictions and Terms
The award will be a fixed fee agreement, and the total amount of the award will be stated in the award letter. The funding is intended to support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of research. The allocation of program funds will directly correspond to the monetary figures presented in the final Budget and disbursement of funds will be initiated upon the timely receipt of invoices, financial reports, and expected deliverables.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted in English or in French.
Applications must be submitted through our website: Submit applications here.
Application deadline: 16th SEPT 2022
Award decisions: All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission by 30th October 2022.
For more information and application details, see; Call for Request for Applications
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