Namibia’s first Start-up Festival gets shot in the arm

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Staff Reporter
Windhoek

The Financial Literacy Initiative, FabLab, Team Namibia and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) have teamed up to host the first-ever Namibia Start-up Festival. The event is slated for June 9 and 10, 2017 at the Warehouse Theatre.

Bank Windhoek, the European Investment Bank and the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), have come on board to support the project.

“Start-ups are the seeds of a strong economy, with jobs for everyone. In Namibia, there are not enough start-ups, but a lot of tenderpreneurs,” said Mbo Luvindao, Manager at Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises Branch.

“This needs to change. Start-ups create jobs, not only for our generation, but our children and grandchildren. They put competitive pressure on existing businesses, forcing them to modernise and innovate, which is very important for long-term sustainable economic growth.”

The Namibia Start-up Festival aims to inspire Namibians to become true entrepreneurs and celebrate the beauty of new ideas and the courageous business founders who realise them. At the festival, participants have the opportunity to learn everything about business; from how to start a business, start-up funding and finding an investor to matters relating to tax implications.

International speakers will share their experiences with delegates over the two day event. Start-ups will learn from regional and local mentors and investors will scout new ventures to invest in. It will be about breakthroughs, making headlines and growing Namibian start-ups.

The festival offers a spectacular programme full of inspiration and new opportunities. The opening keynote will be delivered by the First Lady and Founder of the One Economy Foundation, Monica Geingos. The MC, Josy Nghipandua, will entertain and skilfully moderate an impressive list of international speakers, ranging from one of Africa’s top ten rising Tech-Entrepreneurs, to a Venture Capital expert and McKinsey Associate from India. There will be workshops, panel discussions and a lot of time to meet new business partners, sort out start-up finances and take businesses to the next level. The festival will conclude with an exclusive After-Party with local and international DJs.

Start-ups who are actively working on a business idea can register as “rock stars” (register on www.namibiastartupfestival.com), and in case chosen to participate in the Namibia Start-up Festival, will enter the Festival for free. All selected Start-up rock stars will be invited to partake in the Festival’s ADDventure business idea pitching competition, where a cash prize of N$ 75 000 can be won.

Future entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own business, or members of the public who are curious about what the Start-up Festival has to offer, can buy a ticket for the Festival as a “Rising Star” for N$200.

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