SA, Kenya tech startups dominate Demo Africa launch pad

September 6, 2013
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Ali Hussein(Left) one of the DEMO Africa Judges and DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare address the media to announce the list of the top 40 start-ups schedule to launch in October. Demo Africa is the continent's premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends.
Ali Hussein(Left) one of the DEMO Africa Judges and DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare address the media to announce the list of the top 40 start-ups schedule to launch in October. Demo Africa is the continent’s premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends.

, Demo Africa, the continent’s premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends has announced the top 40 startups that will launch at the 2nd annual DEMO Africa event in October.

The finalists were picked from a record 300 technology start-ups from 24 African countries that applied to launch at the event. Out of the 40, South Africa will launch 12 start-ups, Kenya will launch nine while Nigeria and Egypt will launch four and  five start-ups respectively. Tanzania had two qualifying start-ups while Ghana, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Uganda and Morocco will each have one project launching at the DEMO Stage.

“The entries this year certainly kept up with the DEMO Africa spirit to produce innovative and creative ideas that are bound to transform the technology landscape and we are excited by the growth of innovation and technological advancement in Africa as portrayed by our finalists,” said Harry Hare, DEMO Africa Executive Producer while congratulating the finalists.

South Africa and Kenya made the highest number entries in the five categories ­ Social Media, Cloud Services, Mobile, Consumer and Enterprise Technologies that make up the conference. Of these categories, 50% of the total entries fell under Mobile and Social Media/Computing including gaming while 20% were placed in the Cloud Computing and Enterprise Systems

The adjudication process which began in August also revealed that the Consumer category had the highest number of entries in the final 40 with 19 entries appearing in both the mobile and consumer category.

These categories had the highest number of entries, a strong indication of the current focus shift toward mobile telephony as a financially viable solution, as well as the impact of mobile phone penetration within the continent.

“I believe this is a sign that Africans view mobile telephony as an opportunity to solve problems for the consumers on the continent in a financially viable way. This mirrors the increase in mobile penetration across Africa and signals the potential for mobile networks to help many on the continent create wealth and play a role in reducing poverty,” said Muchiri Nyaggah, one of the DEMO Africa Judges.

Mr. Nyaggah added that the entries demonstrated the increased need for investment in ICT education to ensure the demand created for mobile solutions are not only exploited by firms from other parts of the world but by indigenous innovators as well.

Although the adjudication process was tough, the DEMO team agreed to work with the finalists to prepare them for the main event.

“While we are not able to support all the ideas and innovation that we received, we will engage the finalists on ways through which they can move their businesses to the next level and polish up on their ideas in preparation to meet their potential investors, partners or clients,” Harry Hare said.

The DEMO Africa 2013 conference, which will take place from 24th-25th October, will attract venture capitalists, angel Investors, investment fund managers tech buyers, entrepreneurs, innovation supporters & media from various parts of the world. “The 2013 DEMO Africa entrepreneurs are selected in cooperation with the venture capital community VC4Africa and other partners.

The event has already captured the interest of global giants such as Intel, Microsoft, and Nokia, with the finalists getting a chance to present their ideas to potential investors at the forum.DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa ([email protected]) Partnership.

The DEMO Africa event provides a platform for innovative ideas and local tech start-ups looking for opportunity to nurture their skills and get exposure on the global stage.

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