Press release – The application window for DEMO 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. “The entrepreneurs who are accepted as applicants should make sure their profiles are brushed up to convince the judges,” he added
The applications will be vetted by an executive panel comprising experts in business and tech. 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 Okigbo-Nigeria, Ali Hussein-Kenya, Rebecca Enonchong-Cameroon, Moses Sitati- Kenya, Kevin Schuster-Ghana, Martin Burtler-South Africa, Muchiri Nyaga-Kenya, Lukonga Lindunda-Zambia, Toby Shapshak-South Africa and Richard Tanksley-Ghana
Harry Hare, the DEMO Africa Executive producer, exuded confidence in the group. “The jury is composed of highly experienced individuals and I am positive that they will pick the best by global standards.” Harry added.
Commenting on his role in the jury, Ali Hussein one of the judges from Kenya, expressed optimism in the applicants. “Having been a judge in the previous DEMO Africa, I know there is a tough task ahead. The applications are usually very competitive. It’s not easy to decide who makes it to the final forty. However, our decision will be based on the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability”.
The best forty 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. Before launching, the startups will undergo a one and a half month coaching and mentorship program organized by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The program will be coordinated by Dr Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.
As has been witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participants registration is already open onhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325 .The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Bootcamp at DEMO Africa as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa . More information on this package can be found athttp://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u
DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.