Kampala Innovation Week 2020: What You Need to Participate in the Virtual Event

The fourth (2020) edition of the annual Kampala Innovation Week (KIW) has been launched today by Startup Uganda and the largest startup gathering event is going virtual this year because of the COVID pandemic. 

Slated under the theme “Recovery & Resilience: Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a tool for the youth,” the event will run from 26th to 28th November 2020 and aims to bring together startups, social innovators, investors, corporations, development partners and government ministries, agencies and departments to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and innovation in Uganda.  

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“We realized that we have a lot in common with Startup Uganda. Both our work involves supporting SMEs, tech hubs and startups within the Ugandan ecosystem to participate in profitable businesses through which jobs are created for the youth, men and women.”

“The plan is to synergize the efforts of Startup Uganda and the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF IV) Uganda project for the good of the Ecosystem by bringing together entrepreneurs, buyers, investors (both local and foreign) and policymakers to make a comfortable environment for business linkages and knowledge sharing,” says John Ndabarasa, Startup Engagement Associate at NTF IV Uganda and #FastTrackTech projects of the UN – International Trade Centre.

How Do I Participate in Kampala Innovation Week 2020?

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated social distancing guidelines, the KIW will this year be primarily virtual and will leverage robust online resources and learning opportunities across the global innovation space to meet the needs of the startup ecosystem in Uganda.

Over the course of three days, over 2,000 attendees will be able to engage and network with speakers and peers, attend sessions of their choice, and virtually browse through the exhibition halls in real-time through the event platform, Whova.

This virtual experience will include provoking conversations from thought leaders on the latest in Ugandan innovations, and collaborative discussions on concrete next steps for the startup ecosystem. Some foreseen discussion topics include the following: “Shifting from damage control to sustainable renewed methods of conducting business;  “Policy and investment dialogue for ‘the new normal’”,  and “Staying ahead of the curve in order to thrive and not just survive.”

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Startups are urged to apply for the online pitching event with a potential investor. A total of 10 companies will be selected for the pitching event and vetting process will be done by Startup Uganda after the applications are open. You can register to attend the virtual event from their website.

My Startup Story Campaign

As a build-up to the virtual event, the organizers are organizing an online engagement dubbed “My Startup Story” campaign where startups who have been in existence for at least a year are encouraged to upload videos on their startup journey.

“My Startup Story” will be marketed after every 2 weeks on different social media platforms under 6 different sectors, there are 30 nominee slots available for this.

To fill one of these slots, simply record a 1-minute long creative video, highlighting your startup story and the ways in which you adapted to COVID-19. The 6 sectors include:

  1. -Agriculture
  2. -Health
  3. -Education
  4. -Communication
  5. -Energy
  6. -Creative Industries

We spoke about the Kampala Innovation Week 2020 a couple of weeks ago on our weekly checkout at the Dignited Show Podcast. You can listen to the episode of the conversation on both iOS, Andriod and Spotify.


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