Nairobi will be hosting DEMO Africa this October. 40 African startups are expected (innovative) to be launching their products at the event. DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS@frica) consortium. Also partnering with LIONS@frica are DEMO, Microsoft, InfoDEV, Nokia and US Department of State.
Hosted by African eDevelopment Resource Centre and CIO East Africa under the auspices of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication, the event is the first ever Pan-African technology launch pad. Amongst those attending the event are venture capitalists, angel Investors, investment fund managers, technology buyers, entrepreneurs, companies looking to buy start-ups, innovation supporters & the media. It will take place between 24th and 26th October 2012 at the KICC, Nairobi.
For the purpose of sharing information on investment opportunities in the technology sector, a series of investor round tables have been scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Cape Town and Lagos. The round tables will provide a forum for knowledge sharing so that investors can learn more about investing in the technology sector, which is attracting more foreign investors.
Other organizations partnering in the venture include Kenya’s ICT Board, VC4Africa, Strathmore University, iHub, mLab Nairobi, and mLabSouth Africa. DEMO Africa has already attracted sponsorship from some of the industry top players including Microsoft and Nokia and invites other companies to support the showcase event in October 2012.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Dr Bitange Ndemo said, “Kenya is very proud to host an event of the stature of DEMO, especially as it is the first one in Africa.” He said Kenya is becoming a hub for technology and innovation. “We are looking forward to share the best of Africa’s home-grown technology innovations with the rest of the world,” the PS continued. All the 40 start-ups launching products at DEMO Africa are a potential investment opportunity. Demonstrators at DEMO US have received US$ 3.5 billion of capital in the last 5 years.
Microsoft’s Director of Development Platforms for West, East and Central Africa, Dele Akinsade says “Building the right partnerships that will give Africa a competitive advantage is a huge focus for us – and a shared passion amongst the DEMO partners. Microsoft’s investment in this is a natural extension of our work to help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and start-ups on this continent, and to provide promising young African developers and innovators access to technology tools, skills and resources they need to realize their full potential.”