Africa focused US-based accelerator Tiphub is to host its inaugural “Diaspora Demo Day” social impact startup pitching competition on November 22, set to be the largest African startup and entrepreneur event held outside of Africa.
The event – hosted in partnership with She Leads Africa and the African Technology Foundation, and to be held at the World Bank in Washington DC- aims to showcase emerging tech companies and social enterprises founded by entrepreneurs of African descent, or focusing on African and the diaspora community.
According to the founders of Tiphub, activity within the diaspora community has an important role to play in promoting African entrepreneurship.
“Members of the diaspora have the opportunity to play several roles in the promotion of entrepreneurship, whether by investing, advising, joining as staff or building their own businesses in Africa. The first key step is to engage and begin to build relationships and that’s what Diaspora Demo serves to do,” Chinedu Enekwe, founder and executive director of Tiphub told Disrupt Africa.
25 startups will give five-minute pitches at the event to an audience of investors, policy makers, entrepreneurs, industry experts and the judging panel.
Although a winner will be named, the founders said the focus of the competition is less on selecting a single winner, and more on displaying “the breadth and depth of startups that are budding across the [African] continent”.
In this vein, all participants will have the opportunity to pitch and directly meet with investors, will be provided with mentorship from the event’s experts, and free legal/business consulting from Bingham McCutchen.
Tiphub said its partnership with She Leads Africa is of particular significance, as the accelerator believes female entrepreneurs have a key role to play in the business ecosystem across Africa.
“The encouragement of female entrepreneurs is a pivotal part of supporting growth within Africa and beyond. Women run businesses increase economic independence, lead to greater personal autonomy, diversity of thought and are often directly tied to reductions in poverty,” said Amanda Spann, co-founder and marketing director of Tiphub.
“We purposefully partner with purpose-driven organizations like She Leads Africa to overcome the human, physical and social constraints that hinder their business aspirations and to provide the mentorship-centered educational and technical training they need to empower themselves,” Spann said.