A free, international, online event with entrepreneurs from emerging markets. 

2M people reached | ~20K pre-event registrations | 5,419 unique viewers 

Geneva, Switzerland – April 8, 2020: Seedstars, the Swiss-based private group with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, gathered 5,419 participants to its first Online Summit on April 3rd, 2020. Creating positive impact through technology and entrepreneurship, the company decided to digitally redesign its Global Summit, to ensure the safety of its partners and community in the scope of the exceptional COVID-19 sanitation crisis. 

During the online press conference that inaugurated the Online Summit, Seedstars’ Co-Founder Pierre-Alain Masson, stated: “In 2020, we face the unexpected. Disruptive new challenges await us. With the Coronavirus crisis spreading all over the world, we at Seedstars want to continue positively impacting people’s lives through technology and innovation. Today, we do so by bringing our annual Global Summit online. BEYOND mirrors our core values. We are forced to evolve quickly. To adapt, to transform.” He adds: “Today, I could not be prouder to be part of a community that is eager and capable of taking concrete and constructive steps to support innovation.” 

The event began on Monday 30th March, with three virtual Bootcamp Days that brought together the competing startups and mentors in over 270 mentoring sessions. The startups also had an opportunity to be introduced to investors in the Seedstars network, which resulted in 154 meetings over the course of the first part of the week. 


April 3rd, the Summit Day, brought content to a much wider audience, reaching over 2 million people, totalling 19,562 pre-event registrations and 5,419 unique viewers. The Summit offered a full live program divided in three parts: The Mag, The Documentary and The Competition. 

The Mag explored topics such as Accessibility, Education, Environment and Migration in short video formats that aimed to raise awareness and showcase solutions worked on by the startups in the field. The Documentary explored the journey of entrepreneurs from their local realities all the way to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Seedstars Summit usually happens physically. The Competition presented a new format for the finals of the Seedstars World Competition, as it included a Q&A and deliberation from the jury, composed of five investors specialised in emerging markets. 


The broadcasted Online Seedstars Summit took place on the new media platform Seedstars Life, open for everyone to watch or rewatch the event. The platform also hosts other topics and formats connected to this year’s theme: “Beyond”, such as podcasts where winning startups tell their success stories and in-depth articles exploring innovative solutions developed in emerging markets. The platform also presents inspirational stories of entrepreneurs going against all odds to fulfil their ambitions. 

In parallel, a new project named Seedstars Insights has been released to give a better understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape in over 80 countries through a network of over 150,000 people. The full report is yet to be published, but it is already possible to explore the map out of each country based on the number of high-growth companies present in the market. 

As part of the program, the esteemed Seedstars partners Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI) the DOEN Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation (TRECC), the School of Management Fribourg 


(HEG-FR), the Human Security Division (HSD) and the Qatar Assistive Technology Center (MADA) granted awards to a select number of projects, which were announced at the closure of the Summit: 

– The Seedstars World competition was won by Daria Kroshkina, CEO & Founder of StudyFree – The Public Prize Powered by VAUD was won by Andreana Castellanos, CEO & Founder of 

Afinidata – The Land Restoration Prize by the DOEN Foundation was won by Bethelhem Dejene, CEO & 

Founder of Zafreepapers – The Transforming Education Prize by the Jacobs Foundation TRECC & School of 

Management Fribourg was won by Jessica Hammer, CEO & Co-Founder of Programa Valentina – The ICT Accessibility Prize by the Qatar Assistive Technology Center (MADA) was won by: 

– Hugo Jácome Andrade, President & Co-Founder at Talov – René Espinoza Jimenez, CEO & Founder at Lazarillo – The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize by the Human Security Division (HSD) was won by: 

– Aline Sara, CEO & Co-Founder at Na Takallam – Berat Kjamili, Co-Founder at Migport – Jens Olsson, CEO at Life Shelter – Ahmed Abu ElHaz, CEO & Founder at Shezlong – Nat Robinson, CEO & Co-Founder at Leaf Global – Amr Bakr, CEO at 7keema-nursing services – Fatoumata Bocoum, CEO & Founder at Denko Kunafoni – Cecil Senna Nutakor, CEO & Founder at eCampus LLC – Uche Kenneth Udekwe, CEO & Founder at NATAL CARES – Chidi Nwaogu, CEO & Co-Founder at Publiseer 

As a remote team providing online programs since it was created in 2013, Seedstars has been transcending borders ever since and continues to bring change through innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. With its Online Summit, Seedstars lives up to its core philosophy, by repurposing its activities using technological tools. In the upcoming weeks Seedstars will continue supporting entrepreneurs online, such as hosting free webinars on how to work remotely, providing startup survival guides and organising local hackathons to find new solutions to the COVID-19 imposed challenges. Startups can refer to the webpage and follow the #SeedstarsCares hashtag for more information. 

Constantly transforming to face ever-challenging environments, the company is committed to helping other organisations face the crisis and adapt their business models. In times of uncertainty, Seedstars continues to learn and transfer knowledge to its partners and community. 

“Let’s go BEYOND the physical and embrace the digital.” 


The Online Seedstars Summit would not have been possible without the continuous support of our main partner Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI). Thank you for helping us make this happen! 

Also, a special thanks to our other partners: Chambre Vaudoise du Commerce et de l’Industrie (CVCI), Innovaud, Lausanne Region, the City of Lausanne, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Presence Switzerland, the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), and the GSM Association (GSMA) for their long-term collaboration and involvement. 

Check out the results and winners here:


Seedstars is a Swiss-based private group of companies with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 80 emerging ecosystems through a variety of events such as the Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities. “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb 


Seedstars World is the world’s largest startup competition in emerging markets. For the past six years, Seedstars Teams have travelled across the globe for a 9-month world tour to scout for the best early- stage startups in 80+ countries, organizing 100+ events. One winner has been selected to represent each country visited, and is invited to attend one of the 5 Regional Summits, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Local winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, the competition’s final happening in Switzerland, where startups compete for up to $500,000 in investment. The Seedstars Summit is the flagship event of Seedstars, filled with breakout sessions, panel discussions, specialized workshops and the best minds from emerging markets. 


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