Close The Gap Rwanda/Uganda Mission

About the Mission

Join us for our five-day mission from March 24-28, 2020 to Kigali and Kampala. Startups.be, Agoria and Close the Gap join forces to organize their third GoGlobal mission to discover Africa’s booming tech scenes.
This mission offers you a chance to mingle and collaborate with local business leaders and entrepreneurs who know best what Rwanda and Uganda have to offer for the future of tech development in Africa as well as on a global scale.

Nicknamed the Singapore of Africa, with a capital city hailed as being the “tech hub of Africa” Rwanda’s growing reputation for development in the world of digital has come on leaps and bounds over the last decade. According to the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business Index, Rwanda has risen above countries like Italy, Belgium, and Israel to become the 41st most business-friendly nation on earth.
Which is why we believe in the importance of being on ground zero to hear the latest from local entrepreneurs and tech visionaries. Alongside this, the mission will branch out to neighboring Uganda, visiting the country’s capital Kampala, known throughout the continent for its leading role within telecommunications as well as a whole host of impressive startups and exciting new industries.
The objective of this Rwanda/Uganda mission is to create potential partnerships and raise awareness about Digital for Development opportunities. The focus is on startups and scale-ups in AI, IoT, fintech, agritech, cleantech, healthtech, edutech, etc. But, actors from cooperation development, non-profit associations, academics, and corporates are also very welcome.

Be a part of the East African Digital Boom, discovering the leading tech players and startups from Kigali to Kampala.

Join us to:

  • Meet some of the key players in the tech industry and start-up community
  • Mingle with fellow entrepreneurs from Rwanda and Uganda as well as getting to know the needs of the locals
  • Learn about the opportunities that arise in East Africa, how to do business there and validate your idea with local entrepreneurs and investors in an interactive setting.
  • Discover the mindset of the Rwandan governement and people: how they embrace technology and how they maximize and amplify technology for the better of the country.
  • Find local partners
  • [...]

Discover the program

Rwanda, Kigali

Monday 23 March: Arrival at Kigali International Airport – stay at Onomo Hotel Kigali (***)

Welcome drink in the evening (no program scheduled).

Tuesday 24 March: The Singapore of Africa

Kick off session at Kigali Innovation City hosted by the Rwanda Development Board: How to do business in Rwanda: opportunities & pitfalls and overview of tech startup scene with testimonials (Possible speakers Zorabots, Savics)

Visit of the brand new Carnegie Melon University Industry Hub

Discovery of “Move” an eMobility Solution initiated by Volkswagen, Siemens, SAP and GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH) at the Volkswagen Assembly plant

Visit of Mara Phones, the very first “Made in Africa” phone.

Wednesday 25 March: Co-creation day

Co-creation session with local tech startups at CcHub Design Lab

Immersion sessions in local tech startups

Reception hosted by Belgian Embassy

Thursday 26 March: Immersion in tech solutions

Visit of Zipline drone facility in Muhanga. Zipline enables life-saving deliveries of medicine and medical supplies by drone.

Digital for Development best practices and “Reverse pitching” session by NGOs at Red Cross

Visit of the Kigali Genocide Memorial

Drive to the airport

Flight to Entebbe Airport, Kampala, Uganda

It is particularly important that all participants take the same flight from Kigali to Kampala (Flight WB 422 at 19:30-21:20 on 26MAR) to fit the program’s schedule.

Uganda, Kampala

Thursday 26 March:

Arrival in Kampala – stay at Emin Pasha Hotel (*****) or Urban Blue Hotel (****)

Friday 27 March:

Kickoff session at Innovation Village with B2B sessions with local tech players (co-organized with FIT, AWEX and Hub Brussels)

Visit of Safeboda, Uganda’s most known startup

AI session at United Nations Pulse Lab (TBD)

Reception at Belgian Embassy

Saturday 28 March:

Closing session on “Private Sector Development” organized by Enabel at the Design Hub

Leisure afternoon at the Kaazi Beach Resort at Victoria Lake

Drive to Entebbe Airport for the night flight back to Europe

Registration

To register for the mission, sign up here. Don't wait, we only have 40 seats!

Your registration will only be confirmed after payment is done.

Conditions

Cost

The price is 1.690 euro per person (without VAT) for startups, non-profits, small and medium sized enterprises, and academics, and 2.590 euro per person (without VAT) for corporates (+250 employees).
Prices include accommodation, food, activities and local transport.

Flights

Prices exclude flights.

Once you register, our partner ALK Reizen will automatically send you a flight quote within 72h
If you do not wish to receive a quote from ALK Reizen and you would like to book your own flights, it is particularly important that all participants take the same flight from Kigali to Kampala (Flight WB 422 at 19:30-21:20 on 26MAR) to fit the program’s schedule.
The program starts on Tuesday 24 March early in the morning, so please arrive on Monday 23 March.
The program ends on Saturday 28 March, late afternoon.
Contact Elke@alkreizen.be for a quote.

Visa

Important information for your visa: It is not necessary to apply for multiple visa. You can apply for the East African Visa which allows you to enter Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya at the same time.

Registration and questions

Register here asap as we will accept 40 participants max.
Contact Céline De Cock, Startups.be | Scale-ups.eu,celine.decock@scale-ups.eu or
Julie de Bergeyck, Close the Gap, +32 474 99 71 16, julie.de.bergeyck@close-the-gap.org.

Hotel information

Rwanda - Onomo Hotel Kigali (***)

Uganda - Emin Pasha Hotel (*****) or Urban Blue Hotel Kampala (****) Participants will be split between two hotels next door

Questions or not sure if it’s the right event for you?

Contact Céline De Cock from Startups.be | scale-ups.eu
or
Julie de Bergeyck from Close the Gap (+32 474 99 71 16;julie.de.bergeyck@close-the-gap.org ).

Subsidies & Funding Opportunities

Startups and scale-ups can get a subsidy of Flanders Investment & Trade, Brussels Invest and Export or Awex (depending on where your startup/scale-up is based) for this mission that covers about 50 percent of the costs. It's important that you send them your dossier at the latest two weeks before departure.

Discover available subsidies based on where your company is located:

Flanders

Brussels

Wallonia

Have any questions?
Drop us a line!

Celine De Cock

Céline De Cock

Contact Céline De Cock,
Startups.be | Scale-Ups.eu


Meet Our Go Global Partners

FIT

About Flanders Investment & Trade

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) promotes international enterprise in Flanders in a sustainable way as a key factor in the social and economic development of our region. FIT does so by supporting the international activities of Flemish companies and by attracting foreign investors to Flanders
 

Digital Wallonia

About Digital Wallonia

Wallonia’s digital strategy, platform and brand, Digital Wallonia sets the framework for all of the Walloon Government’s actions in terms of Wallonia’s digital transformation. Over 500 million euros have been harnessed over four years for its implementation.

 

Brussels

About hub.brussels

hub.brussels aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the Brussels economy by fulfilling a triple task:

  • Providing counsel, tools and support for Brussels economic projects and the project leaders, so as to make sure they are successful both in Brussels and abroad
  • Detecting, generating, initiating and attracting new economic, technological and commercial opportunities in Brussels and abroad
  • Helping the authorities to formulate and implement a proactive economic policy and to ensure a stimulating entrepreneurial ecosystem.