Anike Lawal from Mamalette (Nigeria), Jacqueline Mutumba Nambooze, DigiHealth (Uganda) and James Steere, I-Drop Water (South Africa) are part of the 15 man cohort participating the 21st edition of Blackbox Connect taking place from February 26-March 9 in Silicon Valley.
Blackbox Connect consists of a two-week immersive residential experience at Fact0ry in San Francisco, offering the opportunity for rising international entrepreneurs to live and learn together while connecting with top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders, and executives in an intimate, open, and collaborative environment.
Participating founders — typically the CEOs of their companies and referred to as “Blackboxers” — step out of the day-to-day grind and reexamine their leadership of everything from growth strategy to product design to team culture from a fresh and global perspective.
“Blackbox was an experience that elevated me personally as an entrepreneur and made me think beyond what I considered before,” says Carlota Pi Amoros, Founder & CEO of Holaluz (Spain), who participated in Blackbox Connect 18, Female Founders Edition, “I met incredible founders and exceptional human beings from all over the world that I had the privilege to learn from and connect with.”
After two weeks of speaker sessions, workshops, pitch coaching, mentoring and expert feedback, the program concludes with the Blackbox Connect Startup Showcase on Thursday, March 8th, an opportunity for Blackboxers to pitch their company to an audience of investors and Silicon Valley tech leaders.
This cohort’s 15 participating founders hail from Australia, Chile, China, Greece, Lebanon, South Africa, Uganda, South Korea, Spain, Nigeria, and the United States and represent a wide variety of sectors, including (but not limited to) healthtech, fintech, education, robotics, space exploration, SaaS, consumer products, social enterprise, and more.
Four of the selected founders are recipients of the Google for Entrepreneurs Scholarship, which provides all-expenses-paid participation in Blackbox Connect for founders nominated by members of the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network.
“Our entrepreneur-first approach instills a holistic growth mindset, allows for the open exchange of knowledge across borders, and ultimately translates to greater success back home,” says Blackbox Founder & CEO Fadi Bishara. We’ve been blown away by the number of founders from past cohorts who have gone on to become major role models in their communities. We can’t wait for this group to continue that pattern and build on the impact of Blackboxers around the world.”
Since 2011, Blackbox has helped elevate more than 400 founders from 60+ countries to reach their full potential. Within 3–9 months of Blackbox Connect, over 60% of startups have gone on to raise funding and more than 90% continue to grow their businesses. There have been 10 exits to fuel the growth of global startup ecosystems.
The other participants are listed below:
- Alejandro Fresneda, Mr. Noow | Spain
- Cristobal Forno, Capitaria | Chile
- Garry Cooper, Rheaply | Chicago, USA
- Jose Torbay, The Grint | Miami, USA
- Nour Atrissi, TeensWhoCode | Lebanon
- Ziad Alame, Spike | Lebanon
- Vaios Gkitsas, FlashChat | Greece
- Kostas Pardalis, Blendo | Greece
- Yoon Kim, Starfeed | South Korea
- Mooseong Andy Kim, Herotown | South Korea
- Li Guangping, Magic Mirror | China
- William Crowe, HEO Robotics | Australia
Last year, Nigerian Piggybank and three other startups in Africa were selected to join the 20th cohort of Silicon Valley-based incubator Blackbox Connect.
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