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40 start-ups for DEMO Africa

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The DEMO Africa event will be held on 24-25 October 2013 in Nairobi and will launch 40 of the most innovative start-ups in Africa.

‚”It gives me great pleasure to announce DEMO Africa 2013. Just like last year, we will be looking for the best of the best technology start-ups to launch on a global platform,‚” Harry Hare, Executive Producer, DEMO Africa said. ‚”The bar is set even higher this year as we take the companies that have the highest potential and expose them to the investors, media and technology buyers.‚”

The application process to participate in DEMO Africa is now open to technology entrepreneurs from across the continent. To be eligible to launch products must solve a real commercial problem: make an impact or change the marketplace into which it is introduced or create a new market: have a business plan and a management team capable of delivering the product to market: and must make its public debut at the DEMO Africa conference.

The inaugural DEMO Africa event took place last October 24-26, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. It provided a platform for 40 of the most innovative technology products from companies across the African continent with the opportunity to launch before a global audience of investors, media, strategic buyers, C-level executives and other entrepreneurs. This was the first time ever that a DEMO event was hosted on African soil.

DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations or LIONS@FRICA partnership, an innovative new partnership aimed at enhancing and deepening startup and innovation ecosystems of fast-growing African economies. LIONS@FRICA brings together the U.S. State Department, Microsoft, Nokia, InfoDEV, the African Development Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development,DEMO, Startup Weekend, Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), Venture Capital for Africa, Appfrica, Business Action for Africa, Business Fights Poverty, and the Global Entrepreneurship Week to support and amplify Africa’s budding startup and innovation ecosystem.

According to the organisers, the DEMO Africa 2012 alumni have raised an estimated US$ 8 million in investment and/or business value.

‚”We have received very good feedback from the DEMO 2012 Alumni,‚” said Brian Longwe, DEMO Africa, Event Director. ‚”Most of the companies that launched have either raised the investment they were looking for, created partnerships with other companies or their businesses have experienced good growth after the launch,‚” Longwe said.

Five out of the 40 companies that launched will be participating at DEMO Silicon Valley in October 2013. ‚”We are very excited to be hosting five DEMO Africa Lions in the US at the US edition of DEMO. This is in line with providing a global platform for startups from Africa to showcase and hold their own at a global platform,‚” said Neal Silverman, DEMO, Senior Vice President.

A series of DEMO Africa innovation tours, investor roundtable workshops and a boot camp for the finalists have been planned ahead of the main event in October. Last year, the DEMO Africa team held a series of innovation tour meet ups and three investor roundtables in Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos. ‚”We expect to visit more countries this year and have more engagement with the investor community,‚” said Hare.

Applications will be handled by VC4Africa, a platform for showcasing African ventures and a trusted DEMO Africa partner. ‚”We are now ready to receive applications for those high potential start-ups who want to be considered for launching at the DEMO Africa platform,‚” added Ben White, a Founder of the VC4Africa network.

To apply to launch at DEMO Africa go to http://demoafrica2013.com.

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