Seedstars Erbil: Finding the Best Start-Up in Iraq

On August  10th, ten of Iraq’s best seed-stage startups will compete in Erbil to represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland and win up to USD 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.

The first Seedstars competition in Erbil is marked by the excitement and commitment of Seedstars and its partners in investing in Iraq’s recent, yet vibrant, startup ecosystem.

Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes is coming to Iraq for the 1st time to hold a dynamic pitch event on August  10th, at TechHub in Erbil.

Omar Barakat, Regional Associate for MENA at Seedstars, explains:

Seedstars is a platform connecting the next generation of entrepreneurs from places where normally people wouldn’t think startup ecosystem have such traction, growth and buzz, to a worldwide community of changemakers focused in emerging markets.

"Therefore, we are very excited to be in Iraq, highlighting the hidden potential of such a bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are here to witness the reality and foster talent and good ideas.

“We are also experts in identifying which solutions to pull through and how. We’re impressed by what we have seen in the region so far and cannot wait to add startups from Iraq on our map.

The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars Erbil event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction.

The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: the startup’s regional and global scalability. With a strong network of international partners, such as Merck, SPECo, Enel or Continental (amongst others) the competition organizers are looking for smart startups that tackle regional issues and develop profitable and sustainable products for the global market.

The applications are open until July 30th and startups are invited to apply on Seedstars Erbil website. After a careful screening, the Seedstars team will shortlist 10 of the best seed-stage startups in Erbil to pitch on August 10th for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland.

In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars is closely working with TechHub, Iraq’s first co-working space located in Erbil, who are representing the initiative throughout the year.

Hal Miran, Co-Founder at TechHub, said:

Seedstars’ mission to impact people’s lives through technology and entrepreneurship is a perfect match with ours. Their experience with startup ecosystems and entrepreneurs, and the international community they’ve built around them have been crucial factors in our decision to join forces to scout for the best solutions to tackle local issues in Iraq. We really hope local startups appreciate this incredible opportunity.”

It’s Seedstars’ goal to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, especially those targeting solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With that in mind, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage startups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over USD 92M collectively, providing employment to more than 2.100 employees worldwide.

The 10 startups selected will give a five minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights. Members of the public and press are welcome to come join the fun and should register on the above Seedstars Erbil website as well!

(Source: Seedstars)

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