Abidjan gears up for first Startup Weekend

By Ben White on July 17, 2012

Ever wondered what it takes to be a startup entrepreneur in Ivory Coast (officially Côte d’Ivoire)? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the successes to be had in the fast and upcoming market? On July 20, 2012, local tech hub Akendewa will host the first edition of Startup Weekend Abidjan.

The event will follow a standard model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers on the first day. Teams are formed on the spot and in support of the top ideas (as determined by popular vote). Then it is a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation capped off with some intense pitching :)

Israël Yoroba, handling the communications for the event, explains, ‘Each team is mentored by local entrepreneurs who already have some experience in the business. It is also an opportunity for speakers to talk about the challenges that entrepreneurs face and what it takes to succeed when building a technology business in Africa.’ Asked about intended he results he explained, ‘The weekend culminates with presentations in front of leading entrepreneurs and investors who offer their critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs end up starting companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic, but fun world, of startups.’

This event will take place in Abidjan at the Tech Hub of Akendewa, an NGO which represents a community of more than 3300 members. This is the first time something like this has happened in Côte d’Ivoire which is well known in the region for the dynamism of its web ecosystem. And with such an event, we can expect that this ecosystem starts producing more businesses, many new innovations and lots of high skilled jobs.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world since 2011. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa, from London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies. Startup Weekend is powered by The Kauffmann Foundation and have global sponsors like Google, Microsoft or Amazon.

See the website for more information or connect with the teams on Facebook!

Not a member? Join VC4Africa