DEMO Africa 2014 will present 40 of the most innovative new startups in Africa and highlight some of the best new technology innovations from across the continent. You have one week left (until June 15th) to apply! Joshua Aboah of VC4Africa (handling the applications) gives an update and shares some last tips for entrepreneurs who still want to apply! What can you tell us about the entrepreneurs who have applied so far? “The entrepreneurs who have applied so far are very enthusiastic and determined to become part of the top 40 ventures to be selected for the main DEMO 2014 event in Lagos, Nigeria. It seems the host country is leaving no stone unturned to ‘host and win’ this year’s DEMO Africa event: Nigeria leads the chart of applicants with about 49%. Kenya follows the chart with 23% and Ghana is in the third place with almost 11 % of total applications. There is an intense competition as most entrepreneurs use the video pitches of other entrepreneurs as yardsticks to improve theirs. The quality of applications received is very high, hence entrepreneurs are required to build very good profiles before they are awarded the prestigious DEMO Africa 2014 badges. We’ve created a page with an overview of those who have been awarded a DEMO Africa 2014 badge so far. The jury will ultimately select the 40 best-of-the-best who will be invited to join us at the DEMO Africa event in September in Lagos. However, also other applicants are working hard to build and finish their application profiles. The number of entrepreneurs with DEMO Africa badges are expected to increase heavily before the application deadline.” Do the applicants have inspiring products and services? “Very much so! One core theme which runs through most products is work efficiency. Most of the products and services of the applicants seek to ensure efficient work rate and business transactions. The communication, media & entertainment and retail sectors lead the applications for DEMO Africa 2014. The products and services offered in these sectors dwell heavily on mobile apps and the use of internet, because of DEMO Africa’s technology focus.” What would be your tips for entrepreneurs who still want to apply? “The topmost tip will be to don’t wait for the last day but start your application as soon as possible! After starting your application you still have the opportunity to add to your profile until the deadline next week, this will enable you to make a solid presentation, add a good video, your team members and other relevant information. Important to make this look the way you want, because the judges will make the selection based on the venture profiles! A second tip is to include a good video pitch to your profile, because this is the first impression an entrepreneur gives. While some entrepreneurs vocally explain their products and services, others show their products and services through illustrations on how they function. A combination of the two will probably convince the judges best. Third, include your team! Entrepreneurs should endeavour to ask their team members to sign up on the platform too, so that they can be added to the team tab of the venture profile. Good profile pictures of all team members is an added advantage.” What will happen after the application deadline? “After the application deadline, a jury will be commissioned to select the best 40 ventures out of all the applicants who have been awarded the DEMO Africa 2014 Badge. This list will be presented and the shortlisted applicants will be contacted to enable them prepare fully for the showdown in Lagos.” Why should entrepreneurs still apply to DEMO Africa? “DEMO Africa is the premier launch event for the best new technology innovations from across Africa. In addition to launching with exposure to the entire tech ecosystem of VCs, investors, IT buyers and the global IT press, selected entrepreneurs receive pitch training, coaching and other support. As the saying goes: “Who feels it, knows it”: some DEMO Alumni have listed some good reasons from their experience why entrepreneurs should apply for DEMO 2014 too.” Check out here who’s in the race so far. For more information, see previous articles with more info on criteria and why to apply, and also see the DEMO Africa website. To apply to launch at DEMO Africa 2013, visit www.demoafrica2014.com. Deadline for applications is June 15th 2014!