Abidjan/Berlin, May 29th 2015; As of today, applications are open for the five Venture Bus tours in Africa. At the African Development Bank Annual Meeting the organization for entrepreneurship in emerging markets, Ampion, unveiled to help build 40 African startups in 2015.
For the third year in a row, Ampion will run a pan-African startup competition joined by participants from all across the globe. On the road, entrepreneurs are supported by experienced mentors from leading tech centers in Africa and world-wide and develop information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for the African market – this has already lead to capital investment and job creation in Africa.
Venture Buses are driving through 14 countries all across Africa
This year five Ampion Venture Buses will cross 14 African countries. Each tour is a 7-day full-immersion program for developing entrepreneurial skills and creating new ventures in a team-based competition set on a bus. Venture Buses run in East, West, North and Southern Africa. The Ampion Venture Bus will come to Morocco for the first time. Each Venture Bus tour culminates at a Grand Final, incorporated within the continent’s most renowned tech conferences such as DEMO Africa (Nigeria), AfricaCom (South Africa) and the Transform Africa Summit (Rwanda). Along the road, the Venture Bus and its participants visit all major tech- and startup-communities within each region to hold local events, getting in touch with thousands of Africa’s most promising IT talents.
“We believe, home-grown entrepreneurship and startups tackling social needs are the best way to sustainable growth on the continent“, says Ampion CEO Fabian Guhl.
Visiting Africa’s tech markets to build new companies
In the frame of five major final events all across Africa, startups are pitched to leading companies, investors as well as the hosting countries’ ministers such as Rwandan Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana. In the first two years of the Ampion Venture Bus program, over 30 African tech startups emerged, providing ICT solutions to issues in healthcare, education, fin-tech, public transport, citizen engagement, tourism, water sanitation and much more. 40 new companies are expected to come out of the Venture Buses 2015. Last year Ampion received applications from more than 2000 applicants from 43 countries.
Innovations in modern banking, e-health and more – still open for partners
This year Ampion is partnering up with corporate and public partners to set a focus on selected topics on each Venture Bus. Experts will advise the entrepreneurs along the way and potentially facilitate investment by their company into the developed startups. The focus in the regions will be:
Tunisia: female empowerment – ‘females only’ Venture Bus
East Africa: e-health, fin-tech and governance
West Africa: e-health, fin-tech and governance
Southern Africa: hardware & agriculture
While these Venture Buses will have one or more topical focus each, the development of startups in other sectors is still possible on every Venture Bus. Private sector and public sector partners are still welcome to contact Ampion about ways of collaboration.
Halt Ebola and sterio.me – finding innovative solutions to local challenges
One of the winners of the Venture Bus programs 2014 is Halt Ebola – an app enabling rural population to receive and exchange vital healthcare information through voice messages and robo-calls in their tribal language. Another startup already active since 2013 is sterio.me. The service enables teachers to transmit and learners to receive homework and learning material via free sms, making education more easily accessible in rural areas.
Business developers, coders or designers can now apply for the Ampion Venture Buses 2015, running from September to December. Highly skilled experts in specific topics (like healthcare, education, banking, public transport and more) may also apply should they be interested in launching a startup in their field of work.
AMPION is the leading pan-African entrepreneurship initiative to enable young Africans to start ICT companies, creating considerable social and economic impact. AMPION organizes 7-day Venture Bus programs accompanied by international mentors and followed by an extensive incubation program. Ampion is winner of the “Global Innovation Ecosystem Award 2015” as well as the “Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2014”. Corporate supporters of the Ampion programs are and have been, among others, Microsoft, SAP, MTN and Merck.
About the Venture Bus
The Venture Bus journeys connect entrepreneurial talent with international investors. The program brought some of Africa’s most innovative companies to life, over 30 tech-centered startups emerged from the Ampion Venture Buses thus far – among them companies such as sterio.me, MobiDawa and Hal