Local customer service rating website, BUA will represent Botswana at the this year’s regional Seedstars summit to be held in Rwanda’s capital Kigali next month.
The online space, which allows customers in Botswana to report their customer experiences with suppliers, qualified to attend the 7-9th December conference, after winning Seedstars Botswana, where 10 other startup companies were invited to pitch at an event held at the University Of Botswana earlier this month.
For winning the competition, BUA received a free trip to Switzerland and Rwanda to pitch in front of European investors and the opportunity to win up to USD 500,000 equity investment and USD 1 million in other investment prizes.
In an interview with Gazette Business, the company’s Director Neo Marti revealed that they won the competition ‘unexpectedly’ more so after entering as a ‘wild-card’.
“We were a wild-card entry. We heard about the Seedstars competition from first Steps Venture Centre (Which are under the Botswana Innovation Hub). We were invited to attend the event, and we asked how could we become part of the pitch. This was only two days before the final event. We were told companies were pitching that very day, in the next hour to be more exact, and that if we wanted to give it a go, we could. And that was what we did, two days later we had won the competition,” said Marti.
Though in Rwanda, they will have to pitch against 40 other startups from across the continent, BUA intends to use the platform to network and build business relations with companies, government officials and corporate innovators from around the world.
“The summit will consist of two days, invite-only boot camp for 40 startups. It will end with a conference and pitch event on the 9th of December. Out of the 40 startups 20 are from Rwanda, while the other 20 are winners of the Seedstars world competition from around the continent,” she added.
“We are looking forward to having an opportunity to meet the best entrepreneurs from other countries, networking, and possibly to connect with investors, government officials, corporate innovators, and CEOs from Africa and around the world,” the director further said.
Marti rounded off her remarks by revealing that their ultimate goal is to expand and make greater strides across the SADC region in the next two years.
The company will also travel to Switzerland next year to attend another pitch summit in April.