40 startups to launch at DEMO Africa 2012

BUSINESS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
40 startups to launch at DEMO Africa 2012

After more than four months of work, the DEMO team has released the shortlist of 40 demonstrators to launch at the first ever DEMO Africa Conference taking place in Nairobi, Kenya next month. The 40 finalists have gone through three rigorous vetting processes with a final adjudication by a pan-African panel of judges including entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and academics.

“This has been a very enriching exercise seeing the quality of innovation coming out of Africa,” said Harry Hare, Executive Producer, DEMO Africa, when announcing the names of the final 40.

Several DEMO Africa innovation tours have been held over the last few months to encourage participation from technology startups from as many countries as possible. A total of 500 applications were processed, which were then shortlisted to 150 two weeks ago and then down to the final 40. “It’s been a great pleasure working with this group of entrepreneurs. We congratulate the ones that have made it through to the final round and trust they will put their best foot forward in Nairobi. Now is the time to celebrate innovators from across the continent,” said Ben White, Founder, VC4Africa.

The 40 finalists cover five categories – Social Media, Cloud Services, Mobile, Consumer and Enterprise Technologies.  Applicants from South Africa and Kenya make up a big chunk of the final 40, with Ghana and Nigeria coming in a close second. Other countries represented included Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

“Many entrepreneurs did not make the final cut despite having excellent ventures. We wish we could launch all of them at DEMO Africa, but that’s practically not possible,” said Hare. “We will, however, engage all of them and see how to assist them through the partnerships we have created to move their businesses to the next level”.

Dele Akinsade, Developer and Platform Lead, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, says “The success of a startup hangs on its ability to monetize ideas as quickly as possible and until now, African entrepreneurs have had limited opportunities to attract investors.  DEMO Africa will see 40 talented entrepreneurs get the level of global exposure their ideas deserve – and we can’t wait to see the results”.

The judges included Martin Butler, Senior Lecturer, University of Stellenbosch; Anthony Stonefield, Head of Ecosystem, Nokia; Toby Shapshak, Editor, Stuff Magazine South Africa; Paul Nguru, CEO, PN Consultancy; Stephen Gugu, Director, Viktoria  Solutions;  Erik Hersman, Founder, Ushahidi/iHub; Eric Osaikwan, CEO, Research Africa; Tomi Davis, CEO, Technovision; and  Brian Longwe, DEMO Africa.

DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS@frica) Partnership and includes DEMO, Microsoft, InfoDEV, Nokia and US Department of State. The first ever Pan African technology launch pad and will be hosted by African eDevelopment Resource Centre and CIO East Africa under the auspices of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication. The DEMO Africa event will be at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, 24th to 26th October 2012 and will attract venture capitalists, angel investors, investment fund managers tech buyers, entrepreneurs, innovation supporters and media.  



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Investor networks to work towards pan-African Business Angel Network

Investor networks from across Africa attending last week’s DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria agreed to investigate how to form a pan-African Business Angel Network focused on early stage SME investing on the continent. Read More

Uche Ofodile joins Tigo as CEO in DRC

Former Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile has joined the Millicom Group as the Chief Executive Officer for Tigo DRC.  Read More

MTN Business partners with City Lodge Hotel Group

MTN and City Lodge Hotel Group have announced a partnership to improve connectivity and telecommunications services across more than 50 hotels in SA and Botswana. Read More

Dimension Data announces Wirelessco

Dimension Data MEA is to launch a new company, WirelessCo, which will build and operate an open access carrier-grade WiFi network.   Read More

UBA, ATI collaborate to boost regional and international trade

United Bank for Africa (UBA) has entered into a partnership with the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to ease the flow of credit to clients engaging in regional and international trade. Read More

3rd Startup Knight competition to take place in SA

Byte Orbit has launched the third edition of its annual Startup Knight competition, which the company says aims to empower aspiring tech entrepreneurs in South Africa and offers the winner ZAR250,000 (US$22,000) in prizes.   Read More

Global smartphone shipments to reach 1.2bn this year

The number of smartphone shipments will approach 1.2bn this year, an increase of 19% from 985m in 2013, says a new report. Read More

ITC urges governments to increase public procurement from women vendors

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched an initiative to increase the number public procurement contracts being awarded to women-owned businesses. Currently only an estimated 1% of public-procurement contracts globally are awarded to WOBs or women entrepreneurs.    Read More

Orange launches start-up accelerator programme in Ivory Coast

With “Orange Fab Ivory Coast” and “Fab Israel”, Orange’s network of start-up accelerators is now present on four continents.  Read More

Safaricom shareholders agree yuMobile buyout

Shareholders of Kenya’s leading telecom Safaricom voted in favour of the company’s acquisition of the network, IT and infrastructure of smaller rival yuMobile at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM), meaning the deal now only requires regulatory approval to proceed. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

iProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTsiProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTs

An innovation dubbed iProcure is already being used by several agro input firms which are now relying on it to distribute their products to farmers. 

COMPANY NEWS

VMware announces VMware Workstation 11 and VMware Player 7 Pro

VMware Workstation 11 marks 15 years of innovation with Windows 10 Tech Preview readiness, state of the art performance and cloud connectivity.

Schneider Electric signs exclusive off-grid solar distribution agreement with Zimbabwean firm

Schneider Electric has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Samansco, a Zimbabwean renewable energy, back-up power and appropriate technology company.

SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

Extending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment.