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Applications open as Google-sponsored PitchDrive launches season 2

PitchDrive II

The second season of PitchDrive has been launched. Dubbed PitchDrive II, the project will see Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), a Nigerian-based technology innovation center and Google for Startups help 10 selected African hardware startups to establish connections in Asia.

In a joint statement, the organizations said the startups will undergo a three week, five-city Asian tech tour across Singapore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo.

“This partnership will bring 10 elite African hardware and advanced technology startups together to discover and engage Asian suppliers and manufacturing partners to help grow their businesses, explore funding opportunities and share learnings from the Asian technology market,” reads the statement.

After the selection exercise, the startups will first go through a 2-day boot camp at the Kigali-based CcHUB Design Lab. It will commence on August 15, 2019.

After this boot camp, they’ll then proceed to Singapore, China, South Korea and conclude the tour in Japan with a pitch event in partnership with JETRO, during the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD 2019) event.

“PitchDrive II will enable African startups to take key learnings from the Asian technology market and apply them locally to improve their businesses,” reads the statement. “The tour will also be an opportunity for startups to discover and connect with suppliers or manufacturing partners while securing funding opportunities and learning how best to navigate the manufacturing terrain.”

Must read: African startups attracted record funding in 2018 – report

In 2017, CcHUB and Google for Startups inaugurated PitchDrive, engaging 14 of Africa’s top tech start-ups representing 8 countries in Africa, on a tour of 5 technology hubs in Europe (London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich, and Paris) to pitch to investors.

Following the first edition of the tour, over $4.5 million was raised by a number of participating startups, alongside market expansion into new cities.

Qualifications for PitchDrive II

To qualify for this season of the project, a startup “must have a legal, registered enterprise, be able to demonstrate a minimum of 12 months revenue-generating operations and must be based in Africa.”

CEO/Founders must also be available for a three-week period from August 15 till August 31, organizers say.

‘Bosun Tijani, CcHUB Co-founder and CEO says, “The growing relationship between Africa and Asia presents an opportunity for African startups to leverage the advantages of a distributed innovation system that the world today offers.

“PitchDrive II is a unique opportunity to inspire international collaboration, strengthen and grow world-class African businesses while helping startups explore markets, networks, and relationships in key Asian countries.”

Connor Swenson, EMEA Partnerships Manager at Google for Startups, adds, “We’re thrilled to be supporting the second round of PitchDrive.

“African tech startups are building companies on a global scale, and we believe connecting them to Asian markets through the Google for Startups partner network will not only help them grow even further but provide a chance for Asian startups to learn from best-in-class African entrepreneurs.”

Apply here.

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