07 June 2018

SAIS & Slush Partnership Boosts Entrepreneurship Internationally

SAIS & Slush Partnership Boosts Entrepreneurship Internationally

SAIS in partnership with Slush will be working on bridging Southern African and Finnish ecosystems. Through this partnership, Slush and SAIS will provide innovation actors and startups an opportunity to create international connections at one of the biggest startup and tech conferences in Europe.


“SAIS is a catalyst for proven concepts and a platform for connectivity between innovation actors”, says Lead Expert, Mr. Ilari Patrick Lindy. “Last year we piloted regional collaborationbetween Fablab Namibia and Botswana Innovation Hub, and the hub managers participated in Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA). We are pleased to see that both hubs are official partners of GIA this year.”

Slush is one of the SAIS knowledge partners under the Connected hubs initiative, providing training and sharing learning about event management to ten innovation support organisations in Southern Africa. Slush has extensive experience in this field as over the past seven years, Slush has grown from a 300 person gathering into a global community organizing more than 75 events with up to 40,000 attendees in various Slush events all around the world. Slush is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship. In 2018, Slush events will be organized in Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore with the main event taking place in Helsinki, Finland 4-5 December 2018.

Connecting Ecosystems to Boost Startups

Ecohub from Botswana was one of the five startups who benefitted from the pilot in 2017. Coached online and offline over a course of two months, the startups Worldview, PEBL, Bayon Holdings and Focussurveystogether with Ecohubwere coached in pitching as well as business and product development. Ecohub had the opportunity to pitch in the prestigious Slush100 pitching competition.

This year, all SAIS partner countries will scout the startups exhibiting the most potential to travel to Helsinki, to attend Slush either in partnership with Slush GIA or with support from SAIS. The hubs are Bongo Hive, Botswana Innovation Hub, Buni Hub, Fablab Namibiaand mLab Southern Africa, all members of the Connected Hubs.

“Based on the lessons learned last year, we want to support as many startups as possible before the pitching competitions take place”, states Ms. Auri Evokari, International Programme Officer at SAIS, coordinating Connected Hubs. “All hubs organize inclusive, open to all coaching sessions on pitching and business models to give everyone a chance to grow as entrepreneurs. Together with GIA we aim to ensure that the selected startups are ready to make the most of their excursion to Finland in December 2018.”


If you are an impact-minded, early-stage startup eager to take your business to the next level, follow the hubs for information on upcoming coaching sessions and pitching competitions in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.