Tech innovators and investors converge for DEMO Africa

October 22, 2013
DEMO Africa
Gabrile Negatu Regional Director East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC) Africa Development Bank and Harry Hare Executive Director DEMO Africa

, Investors and innovators from across Africa will converge in Nairobi on Thursday, October 24 for this year’s DEMO Africa conference, where innovative tech start-ups will pitch for funding and technical support.

The two-day conference, billed as the continent’s premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends, has attracted venture capitalists, angel investors, investment fund managers, tech buyers, entrepreneurs and innovation supporters from various parts of the world.

“We believe that the innovative and creative ideas being launched will transform the technology landscape in Africa,” said Harry Hare, DEMO Africa Executive Producer.

The Conference menu consists presentations from industry titans and  fireside chats that would provide the start-ups with valuable tips to  sustain their products and careers. The event has a prolific line-up of speakers representing global technology giants from all over the world.

Some of the keynote speakers include Linda Kozlowski, VP, Evernote, Pekka Sivonen, CEO, AppCampus, Mteto Nyati, MD, Microsoft South Africa, Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President for Corporate Relations and Business Environment, Nokia Middle-East and Africa and Daniel Steyn, GM, Intel East Africa.

Noting the growth that the tech ecosystem in the continent has shown, various event sponsors pledged their support to the start-ups to ensure their sustainability.

” We believe passionately that local developers and entrepreneurs are best equipped to solve local challenges and that their success breeds further success in the society through job opportunities, improved capacities and a change of mindset,” says Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President, Corporate Relations Nokia Middle East and Africa.

On her part, Agatha Gikunda, Intel Software Services Group Lead East Africa pledged to increase collaborations with tech hubs, independent software vendors and universities in order to build a foundation for robust solutions and industry innovation.

“Intel is committed to continuously enhance local innovation by supporting local tech startups to reach their full potential. We are looking forward to seeing the latest in Africa’s innovation at Demo Africa this year and are very excited about the growing developer engagement across the continent,” said Agatha.

Other corporates that pledged their support to the event include Microsoft Corp., Everlytic, Nation Media Group and Africa Development Bank. The 40 products to be launched at DEMO Africa cover health, education, agriculture, trade, communication and transport.

The products hail from seven different African countries and two invitational startups from the Netherlands and Russia. South Africa and Kenya had the highest number entries in the five categories ­ Social Media, Cloud Services, Mobile, Consumer and Enterprise Technologies that make up the conference.

During the conference, each young and talented techpreneurs will take to the stage with their product and charm for the investors, having 6 solid minutes to impress their would-be partners with exciting presentations, none of which is written.

Every year, over 2,500 people from around the globe attend DEMO to experience innovation at its birth. DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA) partnership, an innovative new partnership aimed at enhancing and deepening startup and innovation ecosystems of fast-growing African economies.

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