If you didn’t see our interview with Seedstars CEO Alisée de Tonnac (or our nonstop Tweets), then you may not know that hundreds of people convened last week at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to recognize some of the best tech startups from emerging markets across the globe.
Still not sure why the Summit should matter to you? Well, some of the startups in attendance have products and services that will change the world. That’s why you need to care.
During the days we spent at the Summit, Impact Beacon interviewed more than 10 startups, as well as several startup investors and coaches. We asked each of them a common question: Why is it worthwhile for you to be at the Summit this week?
Of course, there are the obvious reasons, including potential for investment, media exposure, and coaching from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. Between the pitch competition, one-on-one meetings between investors and startups, media attention drawn to the event, and the dedicated presence of entrepreneur coaches, startups had a lot to gain by attending.
But there is another reason that came across loud and clear from the startups we spoke with, and that’s access to community, and the amazing network that comes from this type of event.
Being a startup founder is difficult, and most emerging markets do not have the startup ecosystem of a place like Silicon Valley. If you’re an entrepreneur in a place like Mali or Nepal, you may not necessarily have access to a large community of resources and supporters.
This means that there may not be someone to validate the value of your product, help you brainstorm your business model, commiserate with you on a bad day or—most importantly—remind you that you’re not crazy for trying to leave your mark on the world through your startup. In fact, some of the founders at the Summit come from communities where friends, family and mentors actively encourage them to drop the startup and get a stable job.
That’s why Seedstars is creating so much value for the international startup community. Through their events, they create space for communities to form and ecosystems to mature. The case for startups, investors, and entrepreneurship thought leaders to attend is clear. Even for someone who isn’t heavily involved in the startup world, it is worthwhile to pay attention because these startups will change the world. In short: if you missed Seedstars, you missed out.
So for those of you who did miss the Summit last week, there’s good news. We are so excited to share new entrepreneur spotlights on the different startups we encountered during the event. From a drone that measures air quality in Peru to an artificial intelligence-based health system in Zimbabwe, we’ve got so much coming your way. Stay tuned!