‘The best solutions to African needs will be engineered by us,’ DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare
In keeping with its name, YourStory partner, DEMO Africa, is poised to demonstrate the African entrepreneurial vision. If you have been following YourStory updates chances are you’ve heard about the DEMO Africa 2014 conference. It is a series of tech-focused conference in which pre-selected startups and entrepreneurs launch new products and services. The event is scheduled to take place between September 22nd and 26th at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.
The best 40 startups from across Africa will have a chance to pitch and launch their products/services to an ecosystem of VCs, angle investors, tech acquisition specialists from across the region and around the globe. DEMO Africa 2014 event has three major outreach components.
1. DEMO innovation tours which will take place between April and May 2014
DEMO Africa will embark on ‘Innovation Tours’ across the continent. The tours has just begun in Nairobi where the first DEMO event on African soil took place back in 2012. These tours will see the DEMO team visiting 16 countries around Africa meeting various tech startups to get them ready for the DEMO event in September. The first phase of the Innovation Tours will see the DEMO Team going to countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, and then followed by countries in West and North Africa. Some of the countries that have been confirmed to host the innovation tour include Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Others are Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria.
This years’ DEMO Africa 2014 will kickstart its innovation tours from the Nailab. Nailab is a Kenyan startup accelerator. Nailab’s CEO Sam Gichuru says, “The future demonstrated by the kind of innovation we have seen launched in the recent past is bright for techies in Kenya; DEMO Africa goes a long way to give them the much needed platform to showcase their inventions to the continent and also connect them to potential investors.”
2. DEMO Africa Investor Roundtable will take place in the months of July and August.
The DEMO Africa ‘Investor Roundtables’ will provide various types of investors the opportunity to share experiences, challenges, learn from each other and prepare themselves to engage with companies from around Africa who qualify to launch their products during the DEMO Africa event in September. These companies will go through a rigorous vetting process and hopefully emerge as having the most innovative, disruptive and unique technology products in consumers electronics, web-based applications, mobile technology, social media, life sciences, as well as sustainable and renewable energy.
3. The five-day DEMO Africa event in September 2014
This will be spearheaded by a local organizing committee unveiled by the Minister of Communication Technology of Nigeria, Mrs Omobola Johnson. It will be kick started by the DEMO Africa BootCamp for the invited startups and a strategic meeting of the LIONS@FRICA partners, including VC4Africa, and will culminate with a two-day DEMO Africa stage event.
As done in previous years, the application process is run in collaboration with online venture capital platform VC4Africa. All applicants will also get access to opportunities for mentorship, raising capital and more.
When is the dead line for submission?
This year, the event will present yet another chance for the best technology startups in Africa to be recognized and exposed to the world. In this connection, DEMO Africa is inviting startups who are ready to launch to submit their applications between March 15th and June 2014.The applications will be subjected to a panel of judges comprising key players in the ICT sector in July, 2014, who are expected to settle on the best 40 based on their ability to link creativity, innovation and effectiveness. The teams with the most compelling products and business models will then be given a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of investors, IT buyers and the global IT press.
The application process for DEMO 2014 closes on June 15, 2014. Startups are being called upon to submit their applications through http://demoafrica2014.com. All the applications will be vetted by a panel of judges comprising experts in technology and business who will shortlist the best 40 startups on their ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability.
Delegate registration is already open and interested startups can take advantage of the early bird registration here