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Namibia Start-up Festival 2017
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The Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), FabLab, Team Namibia and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) hosted the first Namibia Start-up Festival from 9-10 June 2017 at the Warehouse Theatre, sponsored by Bank Windhoek, the European Investment Bank and the Gesellschaftfuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Namibia Start-up Festival aimed to inspire Namibians to become true entrepreneurs and to celebrate the beauty of new ideas and the courageous business founders who realize them. At the festival, participants had the opportunity to learn all from how to start a business, to secure start-up funding, to finding an investor and to deal with tax issues.

The Namibia Start-up festival was attended by over 250 participants and started with the opening keynote address by the First Lady and Founder of the 1Economy Foundation Madam Monica Geingos.  The participants had the opportunity to attend panel discussions and workshops conducted by local and international speakers who shared their experiences. Furthermore, the festival had a speakers’ studio and mentoring clinic which gave the participants the opportunity for one on one interaction with the speakers.

One of the event highlights was the ADDventure, where a selected few start-ups had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of jurors and stood a chance to win a business bank account worth N$75 000 courtesy of The European Investment Bank. Although, all ideas were innovative Roel Rutgers founder of MOME Housing stood out from the rest. MOME housing aims to create a bridging solution for people waiting for formalization of land – low income families, shack dwellers or businesses that need temporary staff housing, now have an opportunity to use leased land or other locations that do not allow for permanent structures to be built.

Another highlight was the hackathon that brought 4 teams of 5 programmers together to develop an application for the cosmetics industry.  The fantastic 5 walked away with the prize of a Samsung tablet and a Red bull promo item. The application will serve as a communication link between suppliers of natural raw materials and manufacturers of cosmetics products. The festival ended on Saturday night with a party open to all participants.

We would like to thank all the Start-up festival hosts the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), FabLab, Team Namibia and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII), all the sponsors Bank Windhoek, the European Investment Bank and the Gesellschaftfuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as all participants for making the event a great success.

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