DEMO Africa is an initiative that aims to connect African start-ups to the global tech ecosystem by giving them a platform to showcase their innovations to investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media.
The continental event inaugurated in 2012 is hosted by African capital cities on rotational basis depending on the preparedness of the ecosystem to host an event of that scale.
The 2016 finalists were picked from 723 technology start-ups from 27 African countries which had applied to launch at the conference.
“The entries this year certainly kept up with the DEMO Africa spirit to produce innovative and creative ideas that are bound to transform the technology landscape and we are excited by the growth of innovation and technological advancement in Africa as portrayed by our finalists,” said Harry Hare, DEMO Africa Executive Producer.
South Africa is represented by 30 start-ups, Nigeria 6, Kenya 5 and Ghana 3. Other countries include Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and for the first time, Morocco.
The short listing process involved a review of the documentation submitted by the start-ups, their online properties and testing of some of the applications that are online for innovation, viability and product-market fit by a continental jury.
Most of the finalists are banking and finance start-ups followed by media, e-commerce and education. The rest are tech companies in logistics, retail, renewable energy, health and agriculture.
The DEMO Africa 2016 finalists are Grid Supply Chain, Loystar, Iyris KO Ltd, Cocktail Insights, Boresha Limited, Ujuzi Software Solutions,MumsVillage Ltd, Strauss Energy, IT Brothers, Nextwi, Solstice HES, WESABI, ArtNigeria, Shuttlers, Rubiqube Limited, SharpHire Global Limited, Vuga Ltd, ConnectMed, Reel Gardening, SolarCap Pty Ltd and RadioVybe.
The others include Sortd, ION Comsys, Ekasi Energy, 4th Element, K Measure Pty Ltd, Zivo Learning, flexyPAYIntenational, Telescryptsand Lipa Mobile.
Among the start-ups that have launched at DEMO Africa are money transfer service SimbaPay, event-venue booking website ogavenueand Zuvaa, a global marketplace for African design.
According to DEMO Africa, its alumni have generated over $8 million in investment; business or partnerships from the unique positioning and opportunity for networking and fund raising; training; and exposure that the launch platform offers.
The 2016 conference will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa from 25th to 26th August 2016 and is expected to attract venture capitalists, angel investors, investment fund managers, tech buyers, entrepreneurs, innovation supporters and media from across the world.