Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), the technology innovation centre in Nigeria and Google for Startups, have announced the launch of PitchDrive II, 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.
African hardware and Deep tech entrepreneurs looking to build connections with Asia’s innovation and manufacturing ecosystems, will be selected by the PitchDrive team to embark on a landmark tour that aims to facilitate Africa-Asia collaborations to strengthen deep technology companies in Africa.
PitchDrive II will enable African startups to take key learnings from the Asian technology market and apply them locally to improve their businesses.
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.
Starting in Rwanda on 15th of August 2019, the cohort will first benefit from a 2-day bootcamp at the Kigali-based CcHUB Design Lab, sponsored by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation Rwanda.
Following the bootcamp, startups will visit 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.
This is the first tour of its kind aimed at creating international partnerships with Asian companies and budding African tech companies.
The PitchDrive team sees a strong opportunity for African startups, particularly those focused on deep technology and hardware to benefit from the vibrant tech ecosystem in Asia.
Start-up founders will attend a 2-day intensive bootcamp before the tour, where expectations will be clarified and aligned. This will take place in Rwanda. Founders will be encouraged to set their goals and what they want to achieve from the tour.
There will also be select mentors from across Africa and Asia’s tech scene who would facilitate expert sessions on how to scale a successful startup. Advisory sessions between startup founders and selected advisors will be organized during the trip.
‘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.”
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.
Applications are now open for African deep tech or hardware-based startups who are looking to forge international partnerships with Asian manufacturing or supply companies and raise additional funding.
Those looking to apply must have a legal, registered enterprise, be able to demonstrate a minimum of 12 months revenue-generating operations and must be based in Africa. Ideally, startups will also have a strong management team who have worked together for at least 12 months, capable of demonstrating growth over that time period. CEO/Founders must also be available for a three-week period from August 15th till August 31st.