Seedstars to gather startups in Tehran

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) – Iran’s best startups will compete to represent the country at the Seedstars World Global Summit and win up to $500,000 in equity.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Tehran on September 15, 2016 to host a startup competition at the Incubator of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Up to 12 startups will compete to win the title of Iran’s Best Startup and one will be chosen to represent the country at the Global Summit in Switzerland. The past winning participants of Seedstars World have raised over $ 33m together cumulatively, providing employment to over 885 employees around the world. 

Continuing on its goal to put the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is expanded its competition to more than 60 countries for 2016, up from the 36 countries in the 2014 edition. The regional winners of the local events from each country will be invited to Switzerland to pitch at the final event in April 2017 for a prized $ 500,000 equity investment. The Seedstars Summit will also feature industry-specific tracks in parallel to the general Seedstars World competition prize, similar to the $500,000 travel-specific prize awarded at last year’s summit. The Jacobs Foundation is also offering a grant of 50,000 CHF for product customization or a pilot project in the francophone market.

The jury members of the Seedstars Tehran competition will include Ali Reza Sadeghian, Co-Founder and Vice-COB of, Tiffany Obser, MENA/CEE Senior Associate of Seedstars World, Michael Mehrzad Khoi CEO of OrientSwiss, Mohammad Ghasemi, COO of Farabi Brokerage, and Hassan Haghighi, Manager of Shahid Beheshti Innovation Center, Emilian Popa, Principal at Digital Growth Africa Middle East, Nasser Ghanemzadeh, Founder of Iran Startups/Finnova and Mohsen Arjmandi, CEO Co-founder of Mires Company will also participate as speakers at the event. Pouya Condor, of Farabi Accelerator and Seedstars Ambassador for Iran and Reza Ghiabi, Founder & Managing Partner of ILIA will serve as mentors for the startups during the pitch training bootcamp.

The winning startup will also be invited to the Seedstars MENA Regional Summit being hosted December 2016. Seedstars will continue to work on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region throughout the year, culminating with the MENA Regional Summit, which will bring together startups from Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, GCC, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Algeria. This event is in addition to the Global Summit in Switzerland which will bring together more than 60 entrepreneurs from around the world in April 2017; the best startup from Iran will be invited to pitch and compete at both the Seedstars MENA Regional Summit and the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland.

The competing startups will come from a wide range of sectors. The basic criteria for applicants stipulates that the seed-stage startups have less than $500,000 raised, that it has been less than two years since the startup was founded, and that a MVP (minimum viable product) exists. Seedstars World is also looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. With partners such as MEST, Google for Entrepreneurs, and Microsoft, Seedstars World identifies fast-growing and pioneering startup scenes and is on the mission to support regional businesses and their growth. “Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “We look forward to seeing how the different startup scenes have evolved in a year and the new startups in the country.”


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