Start-up Festival Namibia 2018
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The second instalment of the Namibia Start Up Festival saw an impressive amount of startups in attendance or exhibiting their products and services. The two day event saw small and medium enterprises coming together to share, connect and network. The aim of the event was to strengthen the startup environment in the country and celebrate existing businesses.
The festival was jam-packed with speeches from local and international speakers who covered a wide range of topics suitable for any type of business, whether they are just starting out or already established. Workshops, a panel discussion, a market place and much more made the event a success for event-goers. They also had the opportunity to interact with potential investors and established entrepreneurs to learn from them and share ideas.
The Start Up Festival event-goers had the opportunity to learn the in’s and out’s of starting and running a successful business, from start-up funding to finding an investor and operating a successful business.
The festival was particularly successful for one startup who closed a deal and signed a lucrative contract with a big German investor. This event was a great platform to bring together startups, entrepreneurs, and investors in one place and for them to make connections. More importantly it showed attendees that the Namibian startup ecosystem is booming based on the huge number of exhibitors that were displaying their products and services.
The opening keynote was delivered by Dutch Venture Catalyst, Christo Thekkel and Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, the Managing Director of the African Innovation Foundation on Day 1 and 2 respectively. Some of the local speakers included Marita Walther of SunCycles Namibia, an electric bicycle startup and the founder of Kiyomisandz and 2017 Forbes Africa 30 under 30, Sandra Mwiihangele. Day 1 of the festival was closed by the phenomenal Kenyan artist Fena Gitu, who brought attendees to their feet and had them singing along to her songs.
The festival concluded with 6 start-ups pitching their business ideas. Solve Namibia, Afroprint Line and Paper Smart Industries made it through to the final stage where they received intense coaching and mentoring over a course of several months and the ultimate winner being Solve Namibia. As part of winning the prize, Demetrio Möwes, the CEO of Solve Namibia will be attending Slush, the world's leading startup event, from 4-5 December in Helsinki. Slush connects startups & tech talent with top-tier investors, executives and media.
The Start Up festival was hosted by the Financial Literacy Initiative, FABlab Namibia, GIZ and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII).