On May 23rd 2022, NorthStarDubai Ethiopia took place at the Marriott Addis, an event organized by Laurendeau & Associates and the Dubai World Trade Center where ten of the best Ethiopian growth startups pitched in front of renowned judges and a large audience of government officials, local entrepreneurship ecosystem actors, investors, development partners, representatives from embassies, and corporations like Safaricom, Total, and Thales to name a few.
The Dubai World Trade Center and Laurendeau & Associates co-invested to organize the event in Ethiopia as both believe that Ethiopia’s innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem will need to be represented and showcased at the GITEX NorthStarDubai in Dubai in October 2022, the largest tech and startup event in the world.
H.E Dr. Bayissa Badada, State Minister at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, mentioned in his remarks that “today Ethiopia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is producing world class standard startups that can scale regionally and who are ripe for investment”.
Claudia Mortimer and Ashwin Rajmohan, respectively Director and Senior Manager at the Dubai World Trade Center gave an overview of the NorthStartDubai event that will take place in Dubai in October 2022.
For his part, Bernard Laurendeau, Managing Partner at Laurendeau & Associates (a Strategy Boutique Management Consultancy) expressed his hope to bring a strong Ethiopian delegation to Dubai at GITEX to attract investment, create partnerships, and overall raise awareness about Ethiopia’s potential in the tech sector.
Representatives from the Dubai Chamber traveling from Dubai for the occasion gave a talk on opportunities for partnership between the UAE and Ethiopia on the Digital Economy. The UAE Embassy also presented on business opportunities in the UAE. Samson Assefa, partner at Swaye Ventures, gave an overview of the Ethiopian Entrepreneurship Fund, a blended finance instrument investing risk capital in Ethiopian growth startups.
Ten pitches were delivered by Equb, GuzoTech, Zafree, Chapa, Orbit Health, Zmall, Lersha, Eshi Express, Hahu Jobs, and Tikus Delivery.
In the end, the panel of judges composed of Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (SoleRebels), Bethel Tsegaye (Pharo Ventures), Ermias Eshetu (FSD Ethiopia), Mirafe Marcos (Alx) and Samson Assefa (Swaye Ventures) picked Zmall as the winner after a stellar pitch delivered by Dr. Temesgen Gebrehiwot, Founder/CEO at ETTA Solution Zmall.
As the winner, Zmall obtained a complimentary flight and hotel stay to Dubai, exhibition pod at Gitex 2022 and a pitch slot in the Supernova Challenge offering $200K in rewards.
NorthStarDubai Ethiopia is expected to become a yearly event in the future.