Top African investors and entrepreneurs are set to take centre stage at the DEMO Africa 2016 event to share some insights around business growth and development of entrepreneurial skills. The event is scheduled from 22nd to 26th August 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The series of events, which include an entrepreneur bootcamp and a series of master-classes will be hosted in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg, the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the LIONS@FRICA partners. Now in its fifth year, DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica and aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem.
DEMO Africa is the place where the most innovative companies from African countries get a platform to launch their products and announce to Africa and the world what they have developed. The initiative has hosted 150 startups in the past four years raising more than US$14million in both investment and business value. “We have seen series impact in the last 4 years, one of the startups launched in 2014 has since gone to raise more than US$2 million and employed more than 150 people,” said Harry Hare, Executive Director, DEMO Africa.
This year’s event will feature some of the most prominent investors and entrepreneurs from Africa and the organizer’s hope to see deals being signed at the event. “It will be good to see some deals being made on the floor of the event. We have created a special area, which we call the “DealZone” where investors and entrepreneurs can have investment discussions,” said a source from DEMO Africa.
Some of the speakers who will also provide feedback to the launching startups include:
- Amrote Abdella, Regional Director, Africa initiatives at Microsoft
- Marcello Schermer: Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World
- Arthur Goldstuck: Arthur Goldstuck heads the World Wide Worx research organisation,
- Eric Osiakwan: Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital ? Lexi Novitske
- Marquise Stillwell:Founder & Principal, OpenBox
- Ralesheba Moeng: Partner, CVC Africa Capital Partners
- Toby Shapshak: Editor/Publisher, Stuff Magazine
- Stephen Ozoigbo: Founder/CEO African Technology Foundation
- Megan Edmonds ? Wim van der Beek: Founder and Managing Partner, Goodwell Investments
- Harry Hare: CEO and Executive Producer, DEMO Africa
- Yaron Assabi: Founder, Digital Solutions Group
- Vincent Kouwenhoven: Founder – Investment Director, eVA Fund
- Aaron Fu: Managing Partner (Africa), NEST VC
- Bunmi Okunowo: National Coordinator,(OIIE),(NITDA)
- Thomas Debass: Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships
- Llew Claasen: Executive Director Bitcoin Foundation & Venture Capitalist
- Eghosa Omoigui: General Partner –EchoVC Partners
- David van Djik
DEMO Africa 2016 saw over 700 technology startups from 27 African countries apply to launch at the event. They were then narrowed down to 30 start-ups with South Africa having the highest representation of up to 11 startups followed by Nigeria 6, Kenya 5 and Ghana 3. For the first time Morocco will have a representative in the continental faire. Other countries include Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The 30 finalist startups have products in 11 verticals including logistics, retail, ecommerce, education, banking and finance, media, renewable energy, health and agriculture. Banking and financial technologies had the highest number of entries followed by media, e-commerce and education.