Africa-focused US-based incubator tiphub held its first Diaspora Demo Day on Saturday, with tech startup Coders4Africa named winner in the “beta” category.
Disrupt Africa reported in October tiphub announced its first Diaspora Demo Day was to take place in Washington DC, aiming to showcase emerging tech companies and social enterprises founded by entrepreneurs of African descent, and set to be the largest ever gathering of African tech startups and entrepreneurs held outside of Africa.
The event saw 21 startups pitch to an audience of 250 entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers, with the audience voting for the winners based on the best pitch and best business idea.
Coders4Africa tied for the winning spot in the “beta” category – those startups seeking between US$250,000 and US$1 million – with its full service software development and consulting company, operating in Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tunisia.
“Diaspora Demo Day was conceptualized to be a conduit of engagement, enrichment, and empowerment of entrepreneurs and social innovators in Africa and the Diaspora,” said tiphub marketing director Amanda Spann.
“Through this event we hope to connect startups directly to the investors, mentors, and strategic partners needed to fuel their growth from anywhere in the world. At tiphub, It is our goal to be a catalyst for entrepreneurial advancement, an accelerator for high-growth investment and to create a community of camaraderie across the Atlantic.”
Startups pitching at the competition were divided into three categories: those seeking less than US$250,000 dubbed the “alpha” category; the “beta” category seeking between US$250,000 and US$1 million; and the “delta” category asking for funding in excess of US$1 million.
Hello Tractor – provider of agricultural machinery to small farms in West Africa – won the alpha group; Coders4Africa tying with Thando’s Shoes – which encourages African artists to design women’s shoes – in the beta category; and bicycle-based household recycling service Wecyclers took the top spot in the delta category.
In addition to the pitching sessions, the event also included a lunch, a demo hall, a networking reception and a series of keynote talks.
Hosted in conjunction with She Leads Africa and the African Technology Foundation, the event was held in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.