AMPION Venture Bus is calling for applications for its five startup road trips in Africa this year. A global fellowship program will be launched together with VC4Africa and AfriLabs, and at the opening session of DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos one of the Venture Bus teams will get a chance to pitch on stage!
AMPION Venture Bus brings together young African change-makers and tech experts from all over the world to turn business ideas into real projects. During a 5-day competition and road trip, the “Ampioneers” create start-ups and develop innovative solutions to local challenges.
After a successful first journey in 2013, through Zimbabwe and South Africa, three start-ups (including VC4Africa members) have launched operations: Sterio.me, a learning system via GSM, Workforce, a platform bringing together job seekers and potential employers, and Bribed, an app to tackle corruption by crowdsourcing real time data on bribes.
This year AMPION Venture Bus runs five new routes, hitting the road in fifteen African countries between September and November – along the West African coast, in the East African Community, in the Maghreb, and once again in Southern Africa. The AMPION Venture Bus trips are open to all tech designers, developers, mentors and investors and application is ongoing. The seats are going from as low as US$50. From IT specialists to web designers to creative entrepreneurs, 160 participants are expected to get on board during this second edition. As key actors of economic change in Africa, young women are highly encouraged to apply!
VC4Africa & AfriLabs partnership
AMPION wants to contribute to a global community to connect Africa’s social business and tech landscape actors with the rest of the world. AMPION partners with VC4Africa, Africa’s leading venture capital platform, and AfriLabs, the pan-African network of technology hubs, to develop a global fellowship programme, ensuring a long lasting support to the Ampioneers. This programme will include global mentorship, incubation and office space for the best projects created during the journey.
Additionally, on 24 September the AMPION Venture Bus 2014 will land at the venue of the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria, where the best team emerging from the bus earns a chance to pitch at the opening session of DEMO Africa 2014!
The AMPION Venture Bus journey to DEMO Africa will begin on 19 September 2014 in Abidjan, in the week preceding the DEMO Africa event. Over the next five days Ampioneers will be travelling to Takoradi, Ghana; Lomé, Togo; Accra, Ghana; and Cotonou, Benin before arriving in Lagos on 24 September 2014. The Ampioneers will then join the other participants at DEMO Africa – one of the most successful tech events in Africa, with an estimated US$10 million of investment and business value being raised in previous iterations of the conference.
As has been witnessed in the previous DEMO Africa conferences, the September event is expected to attract top-notch African investors. Participants’ registration is already open and the secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, access to the companies’ financials, a ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, a ticket to a special Investor Bootcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. Get more information on the DEMO Africa Investor Package here.
DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. The event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa, among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies. Last week the 40 startups launching at DEMO Africa 2014 were announced.
Commenting on the new collaboration, DEMO Africa’s event director Mbugua Njihia emphasised the importance of joint efforts by various parties in boosting the start-up scene in Africa. “We are all working hard to raise the awareness among stakeholder on the importance of innovations across Africa. Joining hands gives us and even louder voice thus making better our chances to be heard.”