DEMO Africa set for Johannesburg in August

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African startup pitching event DEMO Africa will take place on August 22-26 in Johannesburg this year, the first time the event has been held in South Africa.

Disrupt Africa reported in February DEMO Africa, which began life in Nairobi, Kenya and has taken place in Lagos, Nigeria for the last two years, would take place in Johannesburg for the first time.

Last year’s edition of the event – organised by LIONS@FRICA – saw 30 startups pitch their businesses in front of an audience of investors, with five selected to pitch at the prestigious DEMO Fall event in Silicon Valley.

The 2016 edition of the event will begin on August 22, and is hosted in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg, the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the LIONS@FRICA partners.

It will be kickstarted by the DEMO Africa bootcamp on August 22-23, while  the Lions Summit and the ABAN Investor Summit will be held on August 24. The main forum will take place on August 25-26.

Startups can apply now to pitch at the event, with a panel of judges comprising of key players in the ICT sector to settle on the best 30 startups to launch at the main DEMO Africa forum.

The selection will be based on ability to link creativity, innovation and effectiveness, with the teams with the most compelling products and business models to be given the chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of investors, IT buyers and press.

“We are excited to host DEMO Africa 2016 in South Africa. This presents a great opportunity to cross-fertilize ideas across African startups, as well as showcase our talents and skills in the innovation ecosystem,” said member of the Mayoral Committee For Economic Development Ruby Mathang.

DEMO Africa executive producer, Harry Hare said it was important to support technology startups, and said the event would equip the winning teams with all the necessary tools to promote their businesses.

“The teams will receive coaching and mentorship to fine-tune their products and business models before we present them to the world,” he said.

“They also stand to benefit from PR support and the promotion of the launch video after the convention.”

The DEMO Africa 2016 outreach programme will include the DEMO Innovation Tours, which will take place in April and May.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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