African tech startups go 0-for-3 at Seedcamp Week
- 600 applicants
- 40 hailed from South Africa
- 3 of 23 semi-finalists were from South Africa
- 0 of 12 finalists are African start-ups
As you may have read, three South African start-up companies were selected as finalists for Seedcamp Week – a chance for new companies to earn a €50 000 investment from Seedcamp, along with face-time with next-generation developers and entrepreneurs. Cognician, GetAGreatBoss and iSigned emerged as the 3 finalists from Africa, beating out eight other submissions flagged as ‘African tech startups to watch‘. It’s unfortunate, but not entirely surprising that none of these three companies made it to the final round of twelve for consideration. The Seedcamp folks seem to have targeted companies that focus on products in the marketplace.
Additionally is Cognition’s thought-guiding software perhaps not targeted enough and comes across too similar to Microsoft Project? Does GetAGreatBoss somehow lack oomph (and an energetic logo could help). Is iSigned not unique enough? (dozens of document sharing sites already exist). There is no real answer, but one fact is certain: South Africa has an innovative tech start-up scene that can compete with Europe. Expect to see Kenyan and Nigerian companies on the Seedcamp Week shortlist next year. A year is more than enough time for other nations to approach SA’s current tech environment. All it takes is some enthusiasm.