Investors and innovators alike from across Africa are preparing to converge in Nairobi this Thursday, October 24th, for the 2 day 2013 DEMO Africa conference that will be held at the Safari Park Hotel where it is expected that very-innovative tech start-ups will be pitching their ideas and prototypes for funding and technical support from angel and ventures capitalists from various parts of the World. DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA) partnership, an innovative new partnership aimed at enhancing and deepening startup and innovation ecosystems of fast-growing African economies that was born out of a partnership between Microsoft who again this year promised to mentor the finalists, the US State Department, Nokia, InfoDev, and various other partners.
This year’s Conference menu consists Sage Presentations from industry titans and numerous fireside chats aimed at providing the attending start-ups with tips on how to create and run sustainable businesses from their ideas.
Some of the keynote speakers include:
- Linda Kozlowski, VP at Evernote,
- Pekka Sivonen, CEO at AppCampus,
- Mteto Nyati, MD of Microsoft South Africa,
- Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President for Corporate Relations & Business Environment for Nokia Middle-East & Africa
- Daniel Steyn, General Manager for Intel in East Africa (more)
Growth in the tech ecosystem in Africa has shown immense potential and these companies are increasingly showing support for this effort by converging here to offer advice, mentorship, monetary support, and networks for these start-ups to leverage on.
” We believe passionately that local developers and entrepreneurs are best equipped to solve local challenges and that their success breeds further success in the society through job opportunities, improved capacities and a change of mindset,” says Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President, Corporate Relations Nokia Middle East and Africa. Nokia is a platinum sponsor of this year’s event.
Agatha Gikunda who heads up Intel SSG in East Africa, pledged to increase collaborations with tech hubs, independent software vendors and universities in order to build a foundation for robust solutions and industry innovation.
“Intel is committed to continuously enhance local innovation by supporting local tech startups to reach their full potential. We are looking forward to seeing the latest in Africa’s innovation at Demo Africa this year and are very excited about the growing developer engagement across the continent,” said Agatha.
Other corporates that pledged their support to the event include devices and services giant Microsoft, Everlytic, Nation Media Group and The Africa Development Bank.
The 40 products to be launched at DEMO Africa will have concentrated in the areas of
- and transport
These products hail from 7 different African countries and 2 invitational start-ups from the Netherlands and Russia.
South Africa and Kenya have the highest number entries in the five categories that make up the conference namely:
- Social Media,
- Cloud Services,
- and Enterprise Technologies
The conference offers a stage where each start-up will get the opportunity to have 6 solid minutes to impress their would-be partners and investors with exciting oral presentations.