Today StartupBus Africa announced that it will be home to 15 international and 15 African entrepreneurs who have been chosen out of a total of 200 applicants (from 23 countries), and will be accompanied by 10 mentors while on the trip. After visiting tech hubs across Southern Africa, the entrepreneurs will present their final pitch in front of Richard Branson via a Google Hangout.
The trip will take the startups from Harare to Cape Town stopping off at various popular hubs from 17 to 21 November. StartupBus was founded in 2005 and this is its first time in Africa.
StartupBus Africa’s overall focus will be on the healthcare, mobile and energy sectors which are all regarded as showing large growth potential.
The event hopes to mentor, expose and bring focus to areas currently in need of innovation in Africa. To connect creative minds and help their visions for these fields of interest become reality — that’s the goal of StartupBus Africa 2013.
The journey will kick off at the HyperCube Hub in Harare followed by pit stops at HUB Johannesburg, the Branson Centre, and the Seed Engine Johannesburg.
These spots will be followed by the Bandwidth Barn and Hubspace in Cape Town where the entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas.
The Buspreneurs will also join the Global Entrepreneurship Week “Get in The Ring” together with over 300 participants. This event will feature the likes of renowned political and industrial representatives such as Vusi Thembekwayo.
In terms of official sponsors, so far StartupBus Africa has managed to win over the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, PwC consulting, Africa Internet Accelerator and Seed Engine.
The initiative is currently also running a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo in an attempt to raise €10,000. Future donations will directly benefit scholarships for top-level applicants whose participation on the StartupBus cannot yet be guaranteed due to travel and lodging expenses.