The launchpad for emerging technology and trends

22-26 September 2014, Lagos

Tickets are available now.

Avatar of Niti Bhan

Africa’s emerging market news – comparing notes from China & India

By Niti Bhan on July 23, 2014

This article was originally published on Niti Bhan’s personal blog and is published with permission.

Africa’s economic and consumer market opportunities, as covered in mainstream media as well as press releases, has begun to remind me of the way India and China used to be covered back in the early years of the past decade.

Just as was the case with India, where any news of economic growth or scientific advancement like sending a satellite into space was greeted with handwringing over the teeming millions living in poverty, one reads the same about Nigeria’s recent rise to economic prominence or the nascent African Space Research Program in Uganda.

At the same time, one [...]

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Get on the AMPION Venture Bus, joining DEMO Africa in Lagos too!

By Miguel Heilbron on July 22, 2014

AMPION Venture Bus is calling for applications for its five startup road trips in Africa this year. A global fellowship program will be launched together with VC4Africa and AfriLabs, and at the opening session of DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos one of the Venture Bus teams will get a chance to pitch on stage!

AMPION Venture Bus brings together young African change-makers and tech experts from all over the world to turn business ideas into real projects. During a 5-day competition and road trip, the “Ampioneers” create start-ups and develop innovative solutions to local challenges.

After a successful first journey in 2013, through Zimbabwe and South Africa, three start-ups (including VC4Africa members) have launched operations: Sterio.me, a learning system via GSM, Workforce, a [...]

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Flat6Labs – Accelerating Entrepreneurship Across the MENA Region

By Bill Zimmerman on July 21, 2014

VC4Africa connects partners running physical tech hubs and accelerators across the African continent. When visiting a country, doing market research, meeting entrepreneurs, or conducting due diligence, our colleagues at these organizations are an invaluable resource. Today, we’re pleased to announce our partnership with Flat6Labs, the leading accelerator supporting startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Flat6Labs is a regional startup accelerator program that fosters and invests in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas. They provide seed funding, strategic mentorship, a creative workspace, entrepreneurship-focused business training, and directly support startups through an expansive network of partners.

We recently had a chance to speak with Ramez Mohamed, CEO of Flat6Labs, to learn more about their approach to serving startups at their locations in Cairo, [...]

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Avatar of Josiah Mugambi

‘NGO’ Money: Really?

By Josiah Mugambi on July 16, 2014

This article by Josiah Mugambi originally appeared on IHub and is published with permission.

I opted not to immediately get into the heated debate that this Wired article sparked and spent some time mulling over this debate. Here are my thoughts.

I find the premise that hype around NGO funded apps is stifling innovation in Nairobi rather simplistic, NGO in this case being used as a catch all for any entity that’s not for profit. I believe this argument does not factor in the differences between the ecosystem in Kenya and that in other parts of the world. Obviously many people like to see how one ecosystem stacks up against another. Hence we have the term Silicon Savannah, likening the budding but still very young Kenyan tech ecosystem with the Silicon Valley. [...]

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Avatar of Hilda Shema Kamali

Top 40 startups selected for DEMO Africa 2014

By Hilda Shema Kamali on July 10, 2014

We are pleased to announce the 40 entrepreneurs selected to launch at this year’s DEMO Africa conference, to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on September 22 - 26. DEMO Africa is a must-attend event for both investors, entrepreneurs, tech media & others looking for Africa’s ‘next big thing’. You can book your tickets online now or join as a V.I.P. if you are an investor.

This year DEMO Africa will again launch 40 of the most innovative start-ups in Africa and highlight some of the best new technology innovations from across the continent. The 40 finalists have gone through three rigorous screening processes with the final vetting and adjudication done by a pan-African panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs, VCs and academia. The judges included Dele Akinsade, Bob Mbori, Victor Okigbo, [...]

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Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa – Which is Africa’s top ICT hub?

By Odunayo Eweniyi on July 9, 2014

This article by Odunayo Eweniyi was originally published at Techcabal and is published with permission.

Lured by the growth potential of African economies and our increasing interest in technology, many companies are fast expanding their employee base and branches in a market that was earlier viewed as a low-cost. But while most technology companies had earlier chosen South Africa as their African headquarters, many are expanding into fast-growing economies such as Kenya and Nigeria.

This piece was going to be titled “Is Kenya the new ICT hub for Africa”, but I think it will benefit from insight from everyone as to where the hub is.

Five years ago, South Africa was the undisputable ICT [...]

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Announcement: DEMO Africa Investor Package

By Ben White on June 27, 2014

VC4Africa is pleased to offer a special package for Investors who will attend DEMO Africa 2014, otherwise the leading launchpad for emerging technology and trends.

The investor package costs USD $650 and includes VIP tickets to DEMO Africa and a 1 year Pro account subscription on VC4Africa. The event is scheduled for Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 September and will be held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.

What does this VIP package give you?

15% discount on DEMO Africa ticket

That’s right. We want investors to come and meet the top innovators from across the continent because we know you’ll be convinced. These teams are working on ground breaking solutions that are set to disrupt sectors and industries in entirely new ways. Take advantage [...]

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Avatar of Hilda Shema Kamali

DEMO Africa announces judges as the 2014 application window closes

By Hilda Shema Kamali on June 23, 2014

The application window for DEMO Africa 2014 has finally closed with the host VC4Africa confirming that 27 African countries are represented this year.

VC4Africa Founder Ben White confirmed that Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana have the highest applicants while the areas that have attracted the highest number of applications include; Communication, Retail and Media & Entertainment. See the overview of all accepted applicants.

The applications will be vetted by an executive panel comprising experts in business and technology. The panel is tasked with the responsibility of shortlisting the best forty from the applications submitted from across the region.

The jurists who have been hand-picked based on their experience and contribution to the start-up scene in Africa include:

Dele Akinsade – Nigeria

Stephen Gugu – Kenya

Bob Mbori – Tanzania

Victor [...]

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Avatar of Tom Jackson

Investors & entrepreneurs: how to get more startup investment deals across Africa

By Tom Jackson on June 20, 2014

This article by Tom Jackson originally appeared on HumanIPO and is published with permission

When a company gets funding, it is generally big news. Just look at Takealot, Kopo Kopo and M-KOPA Solar in the last few months. But are these types of investments par for the course, or rather happy exceptions?

Can companies really expect to raise funding rounds like this? And more specifically, what of smaller, leaner companies that are still far behind the likes of Takealot on their startup journey?

Lack of seed funding

It is no surprise to find many entrepreneurs feel there is a lack of seed funding in Africa. Fabian Kast, co-founder at Pocketplan, believes fundraising is a “big problem”, with South Africa in [...]

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Avatar of Miguel Heilbron

DEMO Africa extends application deadline with one week – to Sunday, June 22!

By Miguel Heilbron on June 16, 2014

Africa’s tech innovation launchpad DEMO Africa is keeping the application window open for one more week from Sunday June 15 to Sunday June 22, 2014! VC4Africa is hosting the applications on http://demoafrica2014.com - finish your application this week, don’t miss this last chance!

In startup land, getting through the starting blocks usually takes double the time; molding, tweaking, and playing around with ideas before finally having a ready product. With plenty of applications and extension requests still coming in, the DEMO Africa team found the extension necessary following numerous requests from startups to have more time to meet the DEMO Africa application expectations.

The deadline extension comes even as curtains fall on DEMO Africa’s Innovation Tours 2014. The tours that have just been concluded in Lagos, Nigeria at the [...]

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