PitchDrive II, the second edition of an initiative of CcHub run in partnership with Google for Startups is set to expose selected hardware startups from Africa to the Asian manufacturing market.

Two years ago, the first PitchDrive tour took place. That tour took 14 selected startups (out of 118 entries) representing eight countries in Africa on a three-week tour of five tech hubs in Europe, in search of funding and partnership opportunities.

"Following the first edition of the tour over $4.5 million was raised by a number of participating startups, alongside market expansion into new cities", CcHUB said in a statement. Among the selected startups of PitchDrive I was e-commerce startup Gloo (now Gloopro), online savings and investment platform Piggybank and healthtech startup LifeBank.

Despite raising only 20% of the targeted $22.6 million, the first PitchDrive presented a decent attempt of going at funding and partnership in a seemingly radical way—where startups pitched to about 300 investors in cities like London, UK; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Berlin, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; and Paris, France.

This year's PitchDrive will focus on hardware and deeptech startups which we believe might have been born out of CcHub's successful experiment with the FBStart Accelerator—focused on creating the future with deep-tech.

The PitchDrive II bus will carry only 10 selected African startups on a similar three-week, five-city tour, just that this time around it would be across these five Asian cities Singapore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.

Asia has proven itself to be one of the leading hardware manufacturers in the world with companies like Samsung, Toyota and Sony. Especially as Africa's most dominant phone maker—Transsion (makers of Tecno)—hails from there, with a centre in Shenzhen.

So, this tour will look to help African hardware and advanced technology startups discover and engage Asian suppliers and manufacturing partners to help grow their businesses, explore funding opportunities and share learnings from the Asian technology market.

Speaking on the PitchDrive CcHUB Co-founder and CEO ‘Bosun Tijani says "The growing relationship between Africa and Asia presents an opportunity for African startups to leverage the advantages of a distributed innovation system that the world today offers.

PitchDrive II is a unique opportunity to inspire international collaboration, strengthen and grow world-class African businesses while helping startups explore markets, networks and relationships in key Asian countries."

Connor Swenson, EMEA Partnerships Manager at Google for Startups adds "We’re thrilled to be supporting the second round of PitchDrive. African tech startups are building companies on a global scale, and we believe connecting them to Asian markets through the Google for Startups partner network will not only help them grow even further but provide a chance for Asian startups to learn from best-in-class African entrepreneurs".

Applications are now open for African deep tech or hardware-based startups who are looking to forge international partnerships with Asian manufacturing or supply companies and raise additional funding.

Find all criteria and apply at www.pitchdrive.xyz, application closes May 20.