Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and Google eye buyouts in Kenya

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Global IT firms, Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and Google will converge in Nairobi from October 24 to 26 in search of firms or new software developed within Africa, which they can buy out.

The firms will convene at a meeting hosted by Demo Africa aimed at identifying the most innovative emerging and established companies from around Africa.

Demo, a launch pad for emerging technology and trends in Africa, has partnered with Venture Capital for Africa — an online network of entrepreneurs and investors building innovative companies on the continent — to bring the event to Kenya.

The meeting is aimed at exposing budding IT firms to the global buyers, who will be scouting for software firms that can help them scale their products and services to the next level.

Harry Hare, executive director of Demo Africa, said the event is different from previous ones held by equity capitalists in the country in that the multinationals will be looking for products that are ready to market as opposed to giving grants for competition or funds for developing a product.

“We are very excited about holding the inaugural Demo event on the African continent. This collaboration with VC4Africa will serve to increase the outreach and ultimate participation at the event by Africa’s most innovative entrepreneurs as well as investors who are looking for the next big thing in Africa,” Mr Hare said.

Hand-picked and specially selected companies will deliver their six-minute pitches to potential investors and buyers to garner their buy-in and interest. 

here will also be presentations and panel discussions from leading industry players and experts on consumer electronics, web-based applications, mobile technology, social media, life sciences, as well as sustainable and renewable energy.

Ben White, founder of VC4Africa said: “The number of ventures coming online across Africa is rapidly increasing... Joining forces allows us to welcome a new wave of innovators, put them in the spotlight for investors.”

The Demo conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies and have served as launch pads for many companies. 

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