DEMO Africa shortlists 131 startups for August event

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The organisers of DEMO Africa have shortlisted 131 startups from a field of 723 applications for the upcoming event, for which 30 companies will be selected to pitch their innovative products and solutions.

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

Applications were received from 723 companies from 46 countries, with those now whittled down to a final shortlist of 131. Nigerian startups were the most keen to take part, with 217 applications coming from the West African country, followed by Kenya (154) and South Africa (104).

“We are very excited at the response we received from the startups and startup owners. This goes to show how DEMO Africa is becoming a critical piece of the entrepreneurship development agenda in the continent,” said Harry Hare, executive director of DEMO Africa.

Applications came from across the continent, as well as a number of countries outside Africa, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Netherlands, South Korea, Costa Rica and Afghanistan.

“In the past four years, we have been reaching more people and more countries year on year, spreading the entrepreneurship spirit throughout the continent,” said Hare.

Twelve judges from across the continent are currently reviewing the applications and will later short list 50 startups that will then go into the next round of adjudication.

“We have developed a three-tier adjudication process that makes sure we have the companies with the highest potential to have the opportunity to launch their business and products at the DEMO Africa platform,” said event director Mbugua Njihia.

The adjudication process will continue until the end of June and the announcement of the final 30 is expected in the first week of July.

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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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