“The product has to be new, it has to bring in new innovation on how a company runs its operations.” says Brian Longwe. This was during outreach launch of the DEMO Africa (innovation tour), a launch pad for emerging technology and trends that will run in October 2012. Brian briefed interested parties gathered at Strathmore University’s iLab, who are one of the collaborators of this event.
Harry Hare, the producer of DEMO Africa says unlike other start ups, DEMO Africa is not a competition for money; it is more than that. It is meant to be a competition for markets and for developers to come up with a compelling, bankable product that will attract investors into investing in it for long-term gain. He says DEMO will be big; the event will be looking for business ready products that will disrupt the tech scene, a unique product that will push investors to turn their heads and pour their cash.
So far DEMO Africa has received 120 applications from the pan African network and the selected lot will be taken through a 2 day deep-dive intensive training on how they will engage with the investors 3 to 4 weeks prior the event in October 2012.
DEMO Africa seeks to enhance and deepen innovation ecosystem in Africa, the event will feature 40 innovative products where the winning 5 will win trips to the Silicon Valley for capacity development. Each pitch down will have a maximum of 6 minutes and qualifiers will be given a kiosk to push the products to interested parties for those 2 days.
Several launching categories for DEMO Africa include:
- Mobile technology
- Social media
- Enterprise technology
- Life sciences
- Sustainable & renewable energy and
- Consumer technology
The event has so far attracted several sponsors like Microsoft, Nokia, LION@FRICA among others.
Mbugua Njihia of Symbiotic Media Consortium got the rare opportunity to pitch MedAfrica alongside Steve Mutinda of Shimba Technologies at DEMO last year. Here’s a video of the pitch.
Guest post by Peter Nalika, Staff Writer at CIO East Africa.