Startup finalists begin bootcamp ahead of DEMO Africa

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Twenty-seven startups from nine countries across Africa have today begun a bootcamp designed at putting the finishing touches to their pitches ahead of the DEMO Africa event in Johannesburg later this week.

Disrupt Africa reported last month 30 startups from across the continent had been selected to launch their products at DEMO Africa, which is it is fifth year and gracing South Africa for the first time. Three have since dropped out for a variety of reasons.

The remaining startups will present their businesses to investors and buyers at the two-day conference, but will first take part in a bootcamp to help them reach their full potential.

“The DEMO Africa Boot Camp is a continuation of an online mentoring and coaching process we have in place for the finalists,” said Harry Hare, executive director of DEMO Africa.

“Our experience has shown us that the DEMO Africa finalists are at different development and maturity levels within their businesses. A lot of them are also technically-minded rather than business-minded, so we refine them to think more about their business and what they are offering to investors.”

The online course and bootcamp prepares the DEMO Africa finalists to have a clear strategy for their six-minute presentation, while also enabling them to talk confidently to anyone who approaches them during the conference.

“The Boot Camp is designed to help the entrepreneurs present to people who want to put money in their businesses,” Hare said. “Our finalists are technical people, but they are going to be talking to people who are not as technical, and they need to learn how to do that.”

He said it is important for entrepreneurs to have all the necessary information at their fingertips, including metrics, financial figures and short- to medium-term projections for their businesses.

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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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