40 finest African tech startups to launch at DEMO Africa 2014; submissions open for two more Indian startups
Forty startups from all over Africa will convene to pitch their product and services at this year’s DEMO Africa Conference to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, between September 22 and 26, 2014.
DEMO Africa is a must-attend event for venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, tech media & others looking for the next big startups in Africa. Last year, more than 600 tech startups from 24 African countries applied for DEMO Africa 2013 Conference. This is the first time the event is being held outside Nairobi since its inauguration in 2012.
YourStory is pleased to be the media partner for this year’s conference. If you are working on startup based in India with a technology that is relevant to Africa. There is a slot for two international startups to launch their startup at DEMO Africa.
Submission to launch your startup at the DEMO stage is open through http://demoafrica2014.com. The application window closes on June 15. Like the previous years, the application process is run in collaboration with the VC4Africa community platform.
The DEMO Africa organizing secretariat has released new categories for this year’s applications. The new categories are more inclusive and are aimed at providing a wider and a level playing field for startups across Africa. They are: agriculture, health, education, manufacturing, retail, media and entertainment, communication, transport and logistics, energy, finance and banking, water and sanitation, waste management and recycling.
To be eligible to launch at the DEMO Africa stage applicants must have a working product (not an idea) ready for market and the product must:
- Solve a commercial problem
- Make an impact or change the marketplace into which it is introduced or create a new market
- Have a business plan and a management team capable of delivering the product to the market
- Make its public debut at the DEMO Africa Conference
- Must be a registered company
Products that are not eligible include:
- Products currently in public distribution, either as a launched product or as a highly publicized beta test
- Upgrades to an existing product
- Products entering an already saturated market category with little market differentiation
- Products that have been widely covered by technology and business media
Executive producer for DEMO Africa Harry Hare says that the new categories are more reflective of the needs in Africa. He expressed optimism that the gaps prevalent in Africa will be better filled within the new fields.
At the DEMO Arica event, the best 40 startups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe.
Here is an overview of the ventures that pitched last year.
- Nigeria-based ChopUP is a social platform that connects mobile device gamers across Africa and allows them to interact based on in-game achievements and transferrable points.
- Kenya-based startup DUMA Works is an SMS-based recruiting service that connects employers with top qualified job seekers based on skill, geographic location, past employer reviews, and social network.
- Eventtus is a networking platform based in Egypt for events where users can explore events and socialize with like-minded people during events. They build a community for each event and help organizers and attendees interact before, during and after events.
- South Africa-based GoMetro is the first of its kind startup in South Africa that provides real-time public transport information to commuters.
- SleepOut is Kenya-based startup that has expanded globally this year. This startup is the region’s most comprehensive hotel booking engine featuring 1,000+ options, listing all accommodation from beach huts to house rentals and all-inclusive resorts.
- Egypt-based ViViFi provides touch sticker technology, which is a new human-object interface that is capable of transforming all non-conductive surfaces with limited thickness (wood, glass, etc.) into touch sensors or screens.
- Wireless Mobile Phone Charger is Kenya-based wearable tech startup. By inserting the chips sandwiched between the shoe and sole, the crystal chip generates energy from pressure as users walk or run. Charge your phone while walking in these shoes.
- OTGPlaya is a unique patented platform to bring digital media and online access to areas with broadband access challenge without investing in expensive last mile infrastructure.
- mPawa is a mobile job matching application developed for the blue collar recruitment sector of Africa. It is an end-to-end recruitment application taking the power of Web to SMS technology and solving the problems faced by blue collar workers in finding new jobs and their employers locating suitable talents.
This year will present yet another chance for the best technology startups in Africa to be recognized and exposed to the world.