Startup Europe Comes to Africa (SEC2A) Launch Event 6th November 2017, Brussels
Startup Europe Comes to Africa (“SEC2A”) Launch Event
6thNovember 2017, Brussels
Africa and Europe are bound together by history and separated by fewer than 14 kilometres. At the first EU-Africa Summit in Cairo in 2000, leaders from both continents agreed to strengthen their partnerships. The public image of Africa, however, tends to highlight Africa’s problems such as civil wars, famine and fleeing migrants, and not its opportunities, such as its ambitious African entrepreneurs.
Startup Europe Comes to Africa aims to change this by introducing grass-roots entrepreneurial efforts and success stories to an international audience. In particular, we aim to add another dimension to the images of Africa by bringing together prestigious African heads of states, entrepreneurs and business leaders on the one hand and European politicians, entrepreneurs and celebrities on the other hand.
Our aim is to connect Africa and Europe through digital trade and not aid. This campaign is just the first step to building a stable, long-term start-up bridge between the two continents.
Our institutional partners span European and African political leaders, royalty, some of the largest multinational corporates in the world, leading entrepreneurial networks, pan-African venture capital networks, and celebrities. They include:
- The European Commission (EC) is the principal European sponsor, as part of the ‘Digital for Development’ agenda and Startup Europe;
- President OlusegunObasanjo is the former President of Nigeria, a position he held from 1999 to 2007, and a former Chair of the African Union. He is our primary African sponsor and will host the event in Nigeria in his OlusegunObasanjo Presidential Library;
- The Brenthurst Foundation is an initiative of South Africa’s Oppenheimer (De Beer) family. They are our primary host in South Africa, though, as described in more detail below, we are also working with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape);
- HRH, the Duke of York’s initiative, Pitch@Palace,will offer winners the opportunity to pitch at Pitch@Palace Global;
- We are collaborating with the Heart, a European centre for start-up and corporate collaboration. Based in Poland, they have a network of executives and founders that spans over 25 countries;
- In South Africa, in addition to the Brenthurst Foundation, we are working with Injini, an educational technology accelerator that will be our primary host and that belongs to a larger initiative called the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). We are also working with Wesgro, the official trade, tourism and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and are working directly with Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro and former South African Shadow Minister of Finance, to ensure the event’s success. Finally, Google has opened up its network of African start-up partners to us to access the continent’s best start-ups.
To see the agenda for the Road Trip you can take a look here.
The campaign will begin with a launch event in Brussels at the European Commissionon 6 November. As described above, it will be followed by a road trip to South Africa (from 20-22 November) and Nigeria(from 23-25 November) that will ultimately culminate in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for the 5th EU-Africa Summit.
During the week of 6 November, we will host the official EU launch of Startup Europe Comes to Africa.This will be a high-profile event of approximately 100 VIPs, including relevant journalists. We will work with organisations such as Afrobytes, VC4Africa, Wayra, Orange, Africa House, The Heart and Google for Entrepreneurs to get the word out among African and European entrepreneurs to ensure an audience of grassroots organisers as well as corporates, investors and tech journalists.
WHAT DOES GOOD LOOK LIKE?
- Positive and significant PR and social media presence across European and African publications;
- Senior European Commission delegates, such as VP Ansip, leaving with excitement and positivity about the SEC2A initiative and Start-up Europe more generally;
- ‘Buzz’ amongst European and African entrepreneurial communities; and
- The sense that this event was a meaningful first stepto forging long-term substantive links between Africa and Europe’s entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Senior EC representatives, including Vice President Ansip;
- Representatives from national governments and embassies;
- European political and business leaders with links to Africa;
- A selection of the successful European entrepreneurs who have been selected to attend Abidjan;
- Representatives from EU corporate sponsors, including Telefónicaand Orange;
- African and EU Journalists; and
- Noteworthy members of the EU and African start-up ecosystems.
11:00 Guests arrive. Welcome reception and networking over coffee.
11:30 Introduction by VP Ansip
11:45 Introduction by President Obasanjo
12:00 Introduction to Startup Europe by Isidro Laso
12:45 Introduction to SEC2A by Gary Stewart and Emma Fau
13:30 Lunch and Networking
14:30 Africa – Believe the Hype: Panel discussion of African and EU corporates, investors and start-ups
15:15 Start-up Pitches (5 3-minute pitches from selection of EU start-ups chosen to go to Abidjan)
LISBON INVESTMENT SUMMIT
They say: “We like to keep it casual and informal, so that we can create unique networking opportunities, unlike the bigger conferences, and real investment opportunities. Going already for its 5th edition, the Lisbon Investment Summit delivers thought-provoking keynotes, interactive panels and workshops on some of the hottest topics on startups, fundraising and growth.”