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Startup Weekend enables companies to be created in 54 hours – even in Africa

July 20, 2012  »  Business & Web2 Comments

The Startup Weekend premise is simple: Create communities and build companies in a single weekend (54 hours).

The global results are impressive: 468 events completed, 190 more planned, 5,005 startups created, and 45,000 entrepreneurs in attendance.

And, Startup Weekend is contagious: At least 12 Startup Weekends will occur in Sub-Saharan Africa during a 14-month stretch from September 2011 to November 2012. What’s more, 13 such events have already happened in North Africa.

For a better idea of the format, Ben White at VC4Africa has written a great explanation/preview of July 20th’s SW Abidjan. Basically, anyone can pitch an idea, but only the ideas receiving the most popular votes make it to the creation stage. At the end of the weekend, a winner is chosen, but multiple businesses live on.

If you think this is something up Google’s alley then you’re right. Google is the largest sponsor of Startup Weekend, and is joined by Microsoft BizSpark, .CO, CloudMine, SendGrid, and Amazon Web Services.

Here’s a rundown of what’s taken place (it’s all happened seemingly overnight!) and what’s to come for SSA:

Past Startup Weekend events

sw-lagosLagos, Nigeria

sw-johannesburgJohannesburg, South Africa

sw-reunionSaint-Denis, RĂ©union

sw-accraAccra, Ghana

  • November 18-21, 2011 at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST)
  • 13 ideas emerged out of Friday night, resulting in 7 teams were formed
  • Winner: Dropifi, a web messaging platform that turns your contacts into loyal customers

sw-nairobiNairobi, Kenya

sw-dakarDakar, Senegal

sw-kampalaKampala, Uganda

  • April 27-29, 2012 at MTN Training Center Ntinda
  • 36 ideas pitched, 16 chosen to “be born”
  • Winner: Bet OTM, allows a user to invest their funds responsibly with ease

sw-abidjanAbidjan, Ivory Coast

sw-capetownCape Town, South Africa

sw-brazzavilleBrazzaville, Congo

In addition, events have been held in Morocco (5), Tunisia (4), Algeria (3), Egypt (2). We’ll continue to post updates once more Startup Weekend events are announced.

Kudos to the designer(s) who created the enticing logos!