The first StartupBus Africa launched in 2013 to great success with forty entrepreneurs from different backgrounds taking part in the three-day journey. This year, the organisers of StartupBus Africa are hosting a spin-off called AMPION Venture Bus Africa and they’re specifically encouraging women to take part.
AMPION is an international programme similar to StartupBus which takes entrepreneurs on five different buses on a five-day bus tour and participate in activities with the aim of starting a new business and pitching it to a jury of experts and investors at a grand finale.
AMPION Venture Bus Africa runs through 16 countries across the continent, taking 40 international entrepreneurs on each bus. That said, the AMPION organisers are looking at ensuring that 50% of the seats on the bus are filled by women entrepreneurs.
“StartupBus wasn’t as representative last year as we would have liked – but looking at the applications thus far, while there are great applicants, there are even fewer females this year,” says AMPION’s Jan Schafft.
“Females generally seem underrepresented in the tech and startup scene, be it in the US, Europe or Africa. Our founder buses are supposed to help African entrepreneurs in regards of networking and to give their innovative ideas an audience. Thus, we would also like to use this opportunity to empower female coders. We know they are there, we’re also partnering with the Akira Chix, but sadly thus far we don’t have many women applying for the buses, especially among the coders.”
You can apply for AMPION Venture bus Africa by filling in a form on the AMPION site. Deadlines for applications are as follows:
- West Africa (1) – driving from 20th – 25 September. ECOWAS pass holders (no visa needed to travel to Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast): 5th September
- West Africa (2) – driving from 27th October – 1st November. ECOWAS pass holders (no visa needed to travel to Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast): 10th October (other passholders: 30th August)
- East Africa – driving in October 2014- East African pass holders (no visa needed for Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda): 30th September (other passholders: 1st September)
- Southern Africa – driving 7th – 13th November (all pass holders: 1st November)
- Northern African passholders (no visa required for Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia): 1st December (other pass holders: 1st November).