The 94 local winners of the Seedstars World Competition (SSW) 2020 have been announced and FinTech startup shurjoMukhi Limited is set to represent Bangladesh in the next round of the competition. From the Asia region, 19 startups are set to compete for a spot at the Global Finale, where the grand prize is $500K in funding.
“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets. 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. I’d like to invite everyone to follow their journey and root for their favorite startup from the different corners of the world,” shares Eugenia Shevchenko, Lead of the Seedstars World Competition 2020.
Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions. 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.
The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment.
For the Asia region, there are 19 startups moving on to the next stage. This year, the SSW20 local winner of Bangladesh is FinTech shurjoMukhi Limited, the online payment gateway of a PSO licensed by Bangladesh Bank since Jan 2016. As a local winner, shurjoMukhi Limited is set to compete alongside the other local winners in the Asia region. And only one will emerge as the regional winner moving on to the Grand Finale.
Seedstars Asia Regional Manager Giovanni Corradini shares, "Sourcing for early-stage tech startups used to be linked to the ability to find the one hidden gem out of hundreds of applications. Times have drastically changed, especially in Asia. With the development of technology, a surge in internet adoption, and a fast-growing market, new entrepreneurs are capturing these opportunities by using technologies to solve our daily problems. It has never been so hard to only select one winner in each ecosystem we have covered across Asia-Pacific, and this is a terrific indicator of the quality of startups raising from the region. I wish the best of luck to all the winners for the next stage of the SSW 2020/21 Competition, and I hope we will see an Asia-based startup becoming the Global Winner this year!
The regional stage of the competition will include a 1-month long Investment Readiness Program, a modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment-ready. It will consist of: action-driven webinars on key business metrics; online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities; 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. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.