40 startups to launch at DEMO Africa 2012
BUSINESS| Sept. 28, 2012, 11:54 a.m.
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.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Why govt listed Glo, others as top firmsNigeria’s national carrier, Globacom and 99 other top notch firms have been listed as top 100 Firms in Nigeria for the 2014 fiscal year. The top 100 companies list is based on international benchmark set by the International Integrated Reporting Council. Read More
Women can lead 21st century ICT industry, says Zinox chiefWith the right mix of innovation, business focus, accountability and ambition, women entrepreneurs can spearhead the evolution of the ICT industry in the 21st century, says the Chairman, Zinox Group. Read More
Leading through volatility in AfricaFor the businesses that are prepared to face the storm and manage the volatility afflicting the continent, there are still huge rewards to be had from doing business in Africa, says SAP. Read More
American Tower Corporation, Bharti Airtel in Nigerian tower sale agreementAmerican Tower Corporation and Bharti Airtel Limited have entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of over 4,800 of Airtel’s communications towers in Nigeria. Read More
Mobile backlog affects revenuesNew research shows that a slow approach to app development is increasingly damaging revenue opportunities in the enterprise. The study found that organisations are currently struggling with a significant mobile backlog and unable to cope with business demands. Read More
Kenya courts technology to woo investorsKenya, East Africa’s lead economic hub, has stepped up its efforts to woo investors through its rigorous incorporation and adaptation of technology to ease business transactions. Read More
‘Prepare for an explosive year ahead’ - Dac SystemsFrom a technology solution supply and reselling perspective, 2015 is going to be a bumper year, says Dac Systems. Read More
The Business Network is the futureHyper-connected business networks will extend business processes that used to stop at the walls of the enterprise, and will fulfill the promise of the real-time global networked economy to reduce complexity without sacrificing sophisticated work, says SAP. Read More
Africa SME Champions Forum: creating an ecosystem to support African championsThe Africa SME Champions Forum closed in Dakar last week, but its work in support of African champions is only just beginning. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.