By Ben White on September 7, 2012
It is clear there are innovators working on promising ventures across the continent. If anyone doubts that, DEMO Africa will change their mind for good. More specifically, in the past two years we have seen the quality of ventures rapidly improving. DEMO Africa is a chance to put the progress of these entrepreneurs front and center.
We have worked on more than 500 applications leading to the DEMO event and it is amazing to see quality entrepreneurs step forward from sixteen different African countries. These covered the entire scope of the DEMO Africa categories and show ventures innovating in the fields of mobile technology, enterprise systems, social media, consumer applications, renewable energy and life sciences.
Out of all the applications, 150 have made the shortlist making the first DEMO Africa just as competitive as any other DEMO event. This shortlist is full of quality and the judges have their work cut out for them. The 150 startups will now be vetted on set criteria to identify those with the most potential. Judges will look at the viability of the businesses, their ability to scale and investment readiness.
The team at VC4Africa was pleased to manage the application process for DEMO Africa and on behalf of the LIONS@frica partnership. LIONS brings together an important network of partners that can really do a lot to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. At the same time, we know we have a deep pool of entrepreneurs part of the VC4Africa community. They are well positioned to take advantage of an opportunity like this and its natural we look at ways we can collaborate. Certainly DEMO Africa is a unique opportunity to put some of the continent’s top innovators in the spotlight, and its great to see the community rally behind this effort. DEMO Africa also fits with VC4Africa because they look to create a stage for innovators from across the continent, where most events focus on a theme or region.
The DEMO Africa vetting process is scheduled to start early next week and the 40 startups to launch at the conference will be announced soon thereafter. The DEMO Africa conference will be held in Nairobi 24-26 October and is expected to attract both technology entrepreneurs and investors.