Microsoft Corp. has offered various mentorship opportunities to the DEMO Africa 2013 finalists who will launch their products for the first time in the upcoming conference scheduled for October 24th and 25th at the Safari Park Hotel. Microsoft, which is a platinum sponsor of DEMO Africa, will also give the finalists access to its global Microsoft BizSpark program for startups. The BizSpark programme works to provides promising startups with software, support, visibility and community at no cost and has currently attracted more than 50,000 companies globally, 625 of which are based in Africa.
“Microsoft is proud to be teaming up with DEMO Africa again this year to support the vibrant start-up community here in Africa and to help them connect to the global ecosystem. African entrepreneurs hold tremendous promise for the future of Africa, and through the smart application of technology, they can easily scale their great ideas to have a truly global impact,” said Mteto Nyati, MD of Microsoft South Africa.
Some of the otherwise premium services that the startups will benefit from include Windows Azure with the sound argument that Cloud Computing is quickly becoming a favourite among startups in Africa given that is is the primary technology that enables global scalability by providing infrastructure for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters that ensure a 99.9% uptime on their SLA.
“There has never been a better time to invest in Africa, and we are really looking forward to being at DEMO to help these promising start-ups get the recognition and empowerment they deserve,” continued Mr. Nyati.
DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare spoke highly of Microsoft for sponsoring the conference in its 2nd year since inception. Microsoft has provided the much needed infrastructure to further the growth of ICT in Africa.
“I would like to take this chance to thank Microsoft for supporting DEMO Africa’s innovators with training and infrastructure that will see them move their businesses to the next level,” said Hare.
Each year, DEMO attracts over 2,500 people from around the globe to experience innovation at its birth. DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations (LIONS@AFRICA) partnership, a U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, African Development Bank, Microsoft, Nokia, infoDev, DEMO, and the World Economic Forum joint partnership that was announced at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and endorsed by the US Department of State. The partnership’s main aim is to enhance and deepen start-up and innovation ecosystems of fast-growing African economies.