Last week, a new era for Slush Global Impact Accelerator kicked off. Slush hosted a workshop for startup hub managers – coming from five different countries – in Botswana. For the past three years, the GIA team has been running the program all the way from Finland. However, now we’ve decided to take off from the North and become a truly global initiative.
Slush GIA has one mission: to build the capacities of entrepreneurs closer to their local startup ecosystems. Through the bootcamp activities organised at and with our partnering hubs, we aim to enhance the quality of the startups attending the program. At the end of the year, the most prominent startups will fly with us to Helsinki to experience Slush 2018 in all its glory – in addition to the Slush GIA BootCamp Week. During the week, the entrepreneurs come together to meet each other, to learn from experts in various workshops, and to get prepared for Slush and all the side-events, meetings, and pitching.
Slush GIA is a program full of potential for meaningful impact on the startup communities it engages with. The idea to develop the concept further came from a variety of participants: the hub managers taking part last year, our partners, and from inside the Slush team. All of us wanted to redefine and strengthen the role of Slush GIA in the global startup ecosystem: Slush is not a one-country show, but a truly global community, based on wanting to help sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs forward. Thus, it is important for us to be present all over the world, throughout the year.
The workshop in Botswana was the very beginning of this new Slush GIA. The day was part of Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme’s Connected Hubs project, a one-of-a-kind initiative aiming to bring startup ecosystems from the region closer to each other, to collaborate with each other. As Slush GIA – while not collaborating directly with all the hubs involved – we’re more than enthusiastic to build the capacities of hub managers to better serve their entrepreneurs both now and in the long run. To have an enduring impact on the local ecosystems, all parts of it must be considered in the process – not only entrepreneurs.
After Botswana, we’ll continue with programs in Nigeria, Taiwan, Kosovo, Palestine, South Africa, and will continue to look for new places where we can have an impact on the creation of a sustainable, inclusive startup community, to find impact-driven entrepreneurs, and to work on solving the most pressing issues, both local and global. In addition, we’re collaborating with other programs, such as SAIS, that aim at having an impact on emerging ecosystems or already work closely with impact-driven entrepreneurs. We couldn’t be more excited on what’s coming up!