DEMO Africa applications window opens

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Applications have opened for startup pitching event DEMO Africa, with startups having until the end of May to apply to be one of the 30 companies selected to take part in Lagos, Nigeria.

Startups can apply from today, with applications closing at the end of May and all qualifying applications being taken through an adjudication process after which the top 30 will be invited to pitch on the DEMO Africa stage in September.

Disrupt Africa reported in January Lagos was confirmed as the host of the 2015 edition of the startup pitching competition for the second year in a row following its successful hosting in the city last year having relocated from Nairobi.

The event will be co-hosted by Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication Technology, the country’s National Information Technology Agency and DEMO Africa in partnership with VC4Africa and AfriLabs, and will take place on September 24-25 at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

Harry Hare, executive producer of DEMO Africa, said each year since the first DEMO Africa event was held in 2012 the number of applications keep going up.

“We expect these numbers to go up again this year which is extremely encouraging as it clearly shows that more and more African entrepreneurs are getting enthusiastic about being part of Africa’s entrepreneurship revolution,” Hare said.

To qualify for DEMO Africa, startups must ensure their products have the ability to impact the marketplace. A clear business plan and a team capable of delivering the product are also vital, while it must be ready for launch and the business must be legally registered. Preference is given to disruptive innovations that have massive potential for scale.

The 12 application categories are Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing, Retail, Media and Entertainment, Communication, Transport and Logistics, Energy, Finance and Banking, Water and Sanitation, Waste Management and Recycling.

The applications will be vetted by an executive panel comprising experts in business and tech, with the best 30 startups launching their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe.

Neal Silverman, senior vice president of the DEMO Conference, said Africa’s technology scene is very exciting.

“I am glad that the scene keeps heating up with each passing DEMO Africa event. The next challenge is to see a widespread consumption of locally manufactured solutions. Then Africa will have satisfactorily joined the league of world greatest economies,” he said.

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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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