DEMO Africa returning to Johannesburg in September

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The sixth edition of the DEMO Africa startups pitching event will take place on September 6-7, and will return to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the second year running.

Disrupt Africa reported last year DEMO Africa – which began life in Nairobi, Kenya and then took place in Lagos, Nigeria for two years – would take place in Johannesburg for the first time.

The event organisers have confirmed the 2017 edition of the event will return to South Africa, and will be held in Sandton, Johannesburg on September 6-7.

The pan-African conference provides a platform for African technology startups to pitch their ideas to local and international investors in a bid to secure funding.

Applications are currently open (here) to pitch at the event, and will close on April 30.

In the run up to DEMO Africa, a series of “mini-events” – also known as “Innovation Tours” – are being held across the continent.  

Events have already taken place in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda; as well as the first mini-event to be held in Botswana.  Still to come are visits to Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; as well as first time events in the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Morocco.

Last year, mini-events were only held in eight locations; but in 2017, the organisation has scaled up to 14 cities across Africa.

For the 2016 edition of DEMO Africa, 30 startups were chosen to pitch at the event after 723 applicants were narrowed down to a shortlist of 131, though three eventually dropped out.

Five winners were selected: three from South Africa, namely video health consultation platform ConnectMed, on-demand TV and internet device MediaBox, and email organiser Sortd.

They were joined by Nigerian company Solstice HES, which makes a household’s usage of energy more efficient; and Kenyan solar firm Strauss Energy completed the list.

The five winning startups last month took part in the Lions@frica Innovation Tour in Silicon Valley, where they were able to connect with the local ecosystem and pitch to investors.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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