Applications are open for annual startups pitching event DEMO Africa, with the organisation also announcing an expanded series of mini-events to be held in 14 cities around the continent in the run up to the main event.
This year’s DEMO Africa will be held on September 6 and 7, and will once again return to Johannesburg. 2016 marked the first time the event took place in South Africa, having started life in Kenya, and thereafter favouring Nigeria as its location.
30 companies will be selected to pitch at the main event, spread across nine categories: health, education, agriculture, commerce, hospitality, manufacturing, entertainment, energy, and logistics.
The companies picked for DEMO Africa will receive mentorship and will attend a two-day bootcamp in preparation for the event; as well as receiving software and services worth more than US$150,000 each for the next three years.
In the run up to DEMO Africa, a series of “mini-events” – also known as “Innovation Tours” – will also be held across the continent. Last year, mini-events were held in eight locations; but in 2017, the organisation has announced mini-events in 14 cities across Africa, to take place between February and May.
Mini-events are billed for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa (2); as well as visiting Botswana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Morocco for the first time.
“We will be covering all the four corners of the continent and we have increased the number of countries that we will visit this year,” said Martin Obuya, projects director at DEMO Africa.
“There has been a lot of innovation and entrepreneurship activities in these new countries and we hope to catalyze the ecosystems there in line with our mission.”
At the mini-events, the DEMO Africa team and partners will engage with technology startups, and provide coaching and mentorship, as well as sharing tools to help them build and grow their businesses.
Each event will feature a pitching competition, with the winner gaining direct access to launch at the main DEMO Africa event in September.
Applications for DEMO Africa can be made here, until April 30.