After more than four months of work, the DEMO Team has now released the 40 demonstrators to launch at the first ever DEMO Africa Conference. The 40 finalists have gone through three rigorous vetting processes with the final vetting and adjudication done by a pan-African panel of judges including entrepreneurs, academics and venture capital investors.
“This has been a very enriching exercise seeing the kind of quality innovation coming out of Africa,” said Harry Hare, Executive Producer, DEMO Africa, when announcing the names of the final 40. The process included several DEMO Africa innovation tours to encourage participation from technology startups from as many countries as possible.
A total of 500 applications were processed ahead of this event, these were then short listed to 150 ventures two weeks ago and now the final 40. “It’s been a great pleasure working with the different entrepreneurs. We congratulate the selected entrepreneurs and trust they will put their best foot forward in Nairobi. Now is the time to celebrate innovators from across the continent,” said Ben White, Founder, VC4Africa.
The 40 cover five categories – Social Media, Cloud Services, Mobile, Consumer and Enterprise Technologies. South Africa and Kenya take a big chunk of the final 40 with Ghana and Nigeria coming in a close second. Other countries represented included Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
“Many entrepreneurs did not make the final cut despite having excellent ventures. We wish we could launch all of them at DEMO Africa, but that’s practically not possible,” said Hare. “We will however engage all of them and see how to assist them through the partnerships we have created to move their businesses to the next level,” he continued.
The Judges included Martin Butler, Senior Lecturer, University of Stellenbosch, Anthony Stonefield, Head of Ecosystem, Nokia South East Africa, Toby Shapshak, Editor, Stuff South Africa, Paul Nguru, CEO, PN Consultancy, Stephen Gugu, Director, Viktoria Solutions, Erik Hersman, Founder, Ushahidi/iHub, Eric Osaikwan, CEO, Research Africa, Tomi Davis, CEO, Technovision and Brian Longwe, Event Director, DEMO Africa.
Dele Akinsade, Developer and Platform Lead, Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, says “The success of a startup hangs on its ability to monetize ideas as quickly as possible and until now, African entrepreneurs have had limited opportunities to attract investors. DEMO Africa will see 40 talented entrepreneurs get the level of global exposure their products deserve – and we can’t wait to see the results”.
DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS@frica) partnership and includes DEMO, Microsoft, InfoDEV, Nokia and US Department of State. The first ever Pan African technology launch pad will be hosted by African eDevelopment Resource Centre and CIO East Africa under the auspices of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication. The DEMO Africa event will be at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, 24th to 26th October 2012 and will attract venture capitalists, angel Investors, investment fund managers, tech buyers, entrepreneurs, innovation supporters & media.
To see the list of the DEMO Africa Final 40 click link below.
To attend the event, register on link below
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