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Startup stars head for Seedstars

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After a year of roaming the world and analysing startup ecosystems in fast growing economies, Seedstars is poised to announce the winners of the largest emerging markets startup competition. 

The Seedstars Summit, taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 12 April, will host more than 60 handpicked startups from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Spanning a wide variety of verticals, from Fintech and Insuretech to Edtech, Med/Biotech and Agri-tech to Cleantech and High/Nano-tech, they will meet in the SwissTech Convention Center to compete for up to $1M in equity investment.

The 2018 edition is expected to attract startups enthusiasts, investors, business angels, government officials, incubators, NGOs and journalists from around the world.

According to Seedstars, 84% of the world’s population is located in emerging markets and 59% of global GDP comes from these markets, suggesting emerging markets are the future. By 2025, it is expected, annual consumption in emerging markets will reach $30-trillion? And two-thirds of the global growth is coming from emerging markets.

Consequently, Seedstars has been connecting with the digital change makers of the emerging world, to provide them with access to high growth opportunities. The fifth edition of Seedstars Summit will address crucial questions: where do we want to be five years from now regarding technology and innovation? How will the entrepreneurship from fast-growing markets impact the world economy?

The event is being hosted with the help of partners like Innovaud, City of Lausanne, Enel, School of Management Fribourg (HEG Fribourg) & TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities program, part of the Jacobs Foundation), BBVA, Tag Heuer, Merck KGaA and CVCI (Chambre Vaudoise du Commerce et de l’Industrie).

The 2017 Seedstars Summit saw more than 1 000 attendees, around 60 startup finalists and 116 investors, who took part in more than 450 one-on-one meetings. Speakers included Bob Collymore , CEO of Safaricom, and Alexander Galitsky , Managing Partner of Almaz Capital. The Best Woman Entrepreneur prize was awarded to Monica Abarca, from qAIRa, an air-pollution monitoring drone from Peru, while the most Innovative Startup prize was presented to PiQuant , a South Korean hardware startup dedicated to decreasing the harmful impact of chemicals in food. Mario Jordan Fetalino III, CEO of Acudeen Technologies in Philippines, was named the Seedstars Global winner .

Over 70 experts from world renowned companies spent the first two days of this week mentoring the selected entrepreneurs, providing them with in-depth insights and business mentorship. An Investor Forum will happen on Wednesday, when the startups will present their one minute pitches, and attend the one-on-one meetings with Swiss and international investors, curated by Seedstars.

Keynote speakers include Gwendolyn Regina , who most recently spearheaded Mashable’s global expansion into Asia; CEO of AppsTech Rebecca Enonchong , representing Africa; Tallis Gomes , one of the most outstanding references for entrepreneurship in Latin America. A fish-farmer-turned-agriculture-tech-entrepreneur, Gibran Huzaifah, founder of eFishery in Indonesia, will also speak.

Investors include Ace & Company, Omidyar Network , Index Ventures and 500 startups.

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Smash hits the
Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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