The Pitchdrive Asia tour began on Wednesday, August 21 with a two-day bootcamp at the Co-Creation Hub Design Lab in Kigali. The founders arrived over the course of two days and were engaged in a couple of introductory sessions and context setting ahead of the tour.

Speakers at the bootcamp included Jackson Ogallo, Business School & CMD, PwC Rwanda; Fola Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Africa, Google and Andreata Muforo, Partner, TLCom Capital. The founders also had mentorship sessions with their business mentors, refining their pitch decks amongst other things. Before departing Kigali, the team was hosted to a pitch event by GIZ Digital Transformation Center. They got the chance to make their first pitch in front of a supportive audience comprising technology stakeholders and government representatives who were generous with feedback towards better reviewing their pitch decks.

Participants at a roundtable at the Kigali bootcamp.

The team arrived in Singapore on Sunday, August 25, in two batches and after a delayed flight. The first stop in Singapore was at the Found8 office, an innovation hub in Amoy. Here, the founders were introduced to the Southeast Asia startup ecosystem, sat in for a fireside chat around VC funding in Southeast Asia anchored by Germaine Inez Tan of Found Ventures and Mohd Atasha, Advisor to Alibaba and the United Nations.

Mohd Atasha, Advisor to Alibaba and the United Nations.

One of the key visions of the Pitchdrive Asia tour is to create opportunities for the participating founders to forge partnerships and collaborations with the Asian market and learn from them given how advanced their hardware and AI technology is.

In line with this vision, the founders visited the Stripe and Antler offices as well as the Google office in Singapore where they not only went on a tour of the space but also received a brief lecture from Kerry O’Shea, Staffing Lead, Google and Jerome Poudevigne, Startup Architect, Google Cloud.

Participants at the Google offices in Singapore.

The first official pitch session of the tour rounded up the stay in Singapore. A team from SGInnovates and angel investors were in the room to listen to the founders speak about their businesses and plans for growth and expansion. 

After a fully-packed stay in Singapore, the tour headed to Japan, first to Tokyo then Yokohama for the 7th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD). In Tokyo, the team was hosted to lunch by Kepple VC and also got the chance to pitch and discuss with top investors from Yamaha Motors. The manufacturing company has shown a growing interest in the continent’s mobility sector. In June, they participated in an investment round to raise $US7 million for Nigerian motorcycle-hailing startup,  They are also looking to make huge investments in the healthcare sector.

Pitching at the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development.

The day following the team’s arrival in Tokyo was followed by a series of individual meetings, pitches and presentations. Dr Shamim of CHIL AI Lab was a panellist on the UNDP Panel Discussion at TICAD.  All ten participating startups pitched at the Africa/Japan Startups Pitch Side Event of the 7th TICAD Conference.

Casky founder, Abid Khirani was awarded the $US5,000 Marubeni Awards at the end of the event. 

Casky founder, Abid Khirani was awarded the $US5,000 Marubeni Awards.

The team has had a few days to catch a breath and will depart for Seoul, South Korea on September 1.

Follow the tour on social media: @CC_Hub/@TechCabal on Twitter, @CchubNigeria/@TechCabal on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

Be sure to sign up on the website: to keep up with the tour.

Kay Ugwuede Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox