The application window will remain open throughout the months of March, April to close by end of May. This will be followed by all the qualifying applications being taken through an adjudication process after which the top thirty will be invited to pitch on the DEMO Africa stage in September during the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.
Commenting on the announcement, Ben White, Co-Founder and CEO of VC4Africa said: “We are looking forward to having even more mature applications this year. This means that competition will be stiff and I would encourage start-up entrepreneurs to present their best.”
Harry Hare, Executive producer for DEMO Africa observed that each year since the first DEMO Africa event was held in 2012, the number of applications keep going up. “We expect these numbers to go up again this year which is extremely encouraging as it clearly shows that more and more African entrepreneurs are getting enthusiastic about being part of Africa’s entrepreneurship revolution.”
To qualify for DEMO Africa 2015, start-ups must ensure that their products have the ability to impact the marketplace of introduction. A clear business plan and a team capable of delivering the product are also vital. The product must be ready for launch and the business must be legally registered. Preference is given to disruptive innovations that have massive potential for scale.
The 12 application categories are:
– Media and entertainment,
– Transport and Logistics,
– Finance and Banking,
– Water and Sanitation,
– Waste Management and recycling.
The applications will be vetted by an executive panel comprising experts in business and tech. The best thirty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe.
The DEMO Africa Alumni have confirmed that they have been able to find valuable partnerships and learned useful business lessons through interactions by their participation. Last year, DEMO Africa presented 6 start-ups with a chance to tour the Silicon Valley to meet mentors and share with peers. These included; SpacePointe – Nigeria, Chura – Kenya, Nerve – Nigeria, Paysail – Ghana, Jifunza – Rwanda and Saisai-Zimbabwe. Recently, participants in VC4Africa research indicated they successfully raised USD 27 million, many of them being DEMO alumni.
Neal Silverman, Senior Vice President, DEMO Conference observed that Africa’s technology hotbed is simmering. ”I am glad that the scene keeps heating up with each passing DEMO Africa event. The next challenge is to see a widespread consumption of locally manufactured solutions. Then Africa will have satisfactorily joined the league of world greatest economies.”
ABAN Investor Summit
DEMO Africa 2015 is scheduled to take place on 24th and 25th September at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos. As has been witnessed in the previous years, the September event is expected to attract top-notch African investors. This year’s event will again be preceded by the annual angel investor summit organized by the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), the pan-African association supporting the development of early stage investor networks. The ABAN Investor Summit will bring together investors from across the continent, Europe and the US who are all eager to meet the companies participating at DEMO.” This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and LIONS@FRICA partnership.