The 2016 edition of Demo Africa has shortlisted 131 startups from a record 723 applications companies. This year’s edition attracted startups from 46 countries an increase from 23 countries in the 2015 edition. Nigeria had the highest number of applications at 217, followed by Kenya at 154 and South Africa at 104. Other countries that had a good showing were Uganda at 23 applications, Cameroon 17, Ghana 16, Zimbabwe 14, Egypt and Tanzania 12, Ivory Coast 8, Ethiopia 7, Zambia and Rwanda submitted 6 applications each. This year, DEMO Africa also attracted participation of African diaspora entrepreneurs with those in the US topping the list at 15 applications and Belgium 4. Other applications were also received from United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, South Korea, Costa Rica and Afghanistan.
Out of the 131 startups, the judges will narrow down and identify 30 companies who will then launch their products at the DEMO Africa platform in Johannesburg, South Africa on 25th and 26th August. The adjudication process will continue until the end of June and the announcement of the final 30 is expected in the first week of July. Twelve judges from across the continent are currently reviewing the applications and will later short list 50 startups that will then go into the next round of adjudication.
Demo Africa is one ofLIONS@frica flagship initiatives that aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. Last year’s edition was held in Nigeria which saw Kenyan startups including Abacus, Simba Pay, Bitsoko among others launch products. The names of the participants will be released upon the completion of the adjudication process.