The young Cape Verdean companies that were selected to attend Web Summit 2022 were helped by the Cape Verdean Government, which paid for their travel and accommodation as well as their participation fees. The group did their best to increase their network, find potential partners and investors, and publicize their businesses.
10 Startups were presented: Agritech, Banco do Tempo, Suntaxy LDA (African Coders project), Tourism Travel Talks LDA (with the project TouristTravelTalks), Project Emigrante CV, VALE.CV LDA, Cartec LDA (Panha Bantu project) and finally, Pratex LDA.
Next, we will share information about the core business of each of the 10 innovative business ideas that represented Cape Verde at Web Summit 2022.
Web Summit 2022 participants
AgriTech is a youth-led startup created to intertwine agriculture and new technologies. “ A great opportunity for networking, establishing partnerships and development”, these are the impressions the mentors shared about this business idea, which was represented by young Admir Alves at Web Summit 2022.
AgriTech’s proposal relates to vertical agriculture, a technique that involves farming in several vertical levels to modify the natural environment and increase crop profitability.
According to its proponents, this could be the perfect solution for increasing productivity, while also helping to cope with the decrease in arable land. This is one of the most enduring challenges agriculture faces around the world, especially in Cape Verde, where it rarely rains.
Besides AgriTech, Pratex, another startup, was also present at Web Summit 2022 (Pavilion Five, stand no E528). This stand was entirely dedicated to Cape Verde. The company was represented by Nélida Vaz.
Pratex is a digital platform that acts as a marketplace for services, bringing together numerous service providers and allowing for the search for professionals with the appropriate qualifications. This covers multiple areas, namely: construction, industry, the hotel business, and others. The platform offers a higher security level and speed when researching for specific services.
This is the company’s second appearance at a Web Summit, after having previously won a contest.
J5 Developer CV – Projeto Emigrante CV (‘Project Emigrant CV‘)
According to Nelson Varela, one of the mentors for J5 Developer CV, Project Emigrante CV was created in 2021. It “aims to be the main connection link between emigrants and residents, and between emigrants and institutions in the country, in an easy and safe way.”
The Platform Emigrante CV intends to “facilitate the exchange of goods and services between emigrants and residents”, as well as order deliveries.
“Through this platform, anyone can simply add a package and the commission they are willing to pay. The emigrants will receive a notification and be able to conclude the delivery, among other services. This platform could also help migrants invest in the country, promoting consultancy procedures, and it may additionally function as a communication channel dedicated to emigrants.
Tec LDA – “Panha Bentu”
”Panha Bentu” is an environmentally friendly startup focused on reducing the consumption of fossil fuels in conventional vehicles, while also looking into increasing the autonomy of electric vehicles.
The newcomer company is promoted by Sónia Monteiro: “Being a part of Web Summit was a massive opportunity for us, as a startup and a company. Our presence was of great value, as we were able to get to know other companies in the same field, as well as make contacts and establish partnerships”, said the owner of Panha Bentu.
This project was first developed during the founder’s years at university, as an attempt to develop a turbogenerator to harness the flow of air while the car is in motion, and thereby transform it into electricity.
The young entrepreneur mentions the lack of access to the materials needed to build the prototype, and also the ‘Go to Market’ phase (meaning, actually releasing the prototype) as some of the main difficulties.
Sónia Monteiro hopes to find an investing partner that believes in her project, to be able to launch as soon as 2023.
Chris Rocha, Yanick Évora, Fred Delgado, Laura Livramento, and Elton Morais are responsible for VALE.CV, a startup that offers the market a virtual platform to sell experiences in various areas, in voucher format and with discounts.
Yanick Évora explains that “We consider this business model to be a good opportunity to let Cape-Verdeans learn more about the many activities that exist in their country, while simultaneously granting the spotlight to small businesses so that they can increase their sales.”
According to the same source, “these vouchers are titles that allow the buyer to enjoy the experience whenever, within the conditions stipulated, and can also be offered as gifts.”
The Startup CaboVerdeTour was also created in an academic setting, in 2019, at the University of Cabo Verde. Leonardo Fernandes, Célia Cruz and Gilberto Melo conceived the startup as a means to “promote the digitalization of Cape Verde’s museums”.
“Said virtualization allows visitors to experience historical moments, while exploring the venue in 3D, using mobile devices, a desktop computer, web platforms or even augmented and virtual reality glasses”, explains Leonardo Fernandes.
Fernandes further adds that the company’s intention is to provide “experiences of physical immersion and psychological presence, allowing for the user to feel fully present in the museum and the art exhibition (even allowing for virtual purchases)”.
CaboVerdeTour intends to:
- To enhance the transmission of cultural values of the museum heritage;
- Guarantee a learning process that is both playful, educational and reflective, within the context of culture and heritage;
- Contribute to the museum’s applications for World Heritage;
- Promote the identity of Cape-Verdean Culture, and allow for the visibility of national works of art, increasing their buying chances.
According to Gil Pires, DevGo was founded in 2018, when mentors Christian and Marvin conceptualized a company that could guarantee solutions and software for smart homes, as well as new software ideas that could be integrated with Microsoft products, more specifically Office 365.
The company chose the project EZ2ID (Easy To Identify) for the Web Summit 2022. “This is the solution to a problem that was identified on a national and international scale and which, basically, solves the questions surrounding managing and identifying callers.”
Banco do Tempo (‘Time Bank’) is a digital platform where time is the exchange currency and users can offer and access several services. This concept takes inspiration from the idea of social currency, which fits into the ideal of a solidarity-based economy.
Dáfine Medina explains that the project was created to help solve some social issues, namely the high unemployment rate in Cabo Verde, which become aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There’s also a lack of opportunity for people, especially young ones, to gain some work experience and to develop and rediscover their skills.” Thus, to counter such threats, the Banco do Tempo intends to create a solidarity culture among people.
This project was developed and launched in 2021 by a team formed by Miriam Medina, Helena Ferreira, Dáfine Medina, Helton Cabral, Ebrailson Gabriel, and Jaqueline Semedo.
Sintaxy – African Coders
Abel Mendonça, from Sintaxy, explains that this company was conceived by three youths who identified a gap in the national market regarding data collection through mobile devices.
Sintaxy has broadened its offer in terms of services and, currently, specializes in consultancy to Information and communications technology (ICT) and the development of management software, for the internal and international markets.
The company participated in Web Summit 2022 with African Coders, a project created last year. African Coders identifies a shortage of ICT workers in the international market:
“African Coder’s main goal is to increase the potential of Cape Verde’s Human Capital in areas such as programming, while preparing the professionals for the international markets”, Mendonça clarifies.
TouristTravelTalk’s team consists of three members: Wilkar Graça, Nilsson Correia, and Vitória Anthony. This organisation also cooperates with entities such as Chuva, Soluções Informática LDA, CV Telecom and Cabo Verde Digital.
The startup TouristTravelTalks was conceived in 2020 by young Wilkar Graça, who was born in São Nicolau, while he was searching for solutions to enhance national tourism. In his perspective, the sector is too limited, narrowed down to sun and beach, and its promotion is mostly confined to international chain hotels, which are responsible for most of Cape Verde’s tourism, especially on Sal and Boa Vista islands.
“TouristTravelTalks aims to establish joint efforts between public and private tourism-oriented entities (tour operators) to create and nurture Cape Verde’s tourism diversity to maximize the promotion and digital marketing of Cape Verde as a whole.”
Web Summit 2022 is over and the mentors for the 10 startups are now back in Cabo Verde. Now it is the time to “get the message across and retell the wonderful experience that was connecting with the best of technology and innovation worldwide” and embark on a journey of business success.