DEMO Africa Mini-Events To Be Held in Nairobi, Accra, Harare and Cairo

DEMO Africa will be holding four mini-events ahead of the main event in September. The events are intended to bring together regional technology eco-systems to learn and share from peers and industry players. The events are also aimed at encouraging innovations in less favored categories where interventions are critically needed in various countries across Africa.

The DEMO Africa mini-events will be hosted in four cities across Africa. These include Nairobi, Accra, Harare and Cairo. The first of these mini events is scheduled for 3rd June in Nairobi where East Africa technology entrepreneurs will interact with key industry players and their more successful peers.
Commenting on this announcement, DEMO Africa’s executive producer Harry Hare called on the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the existing opportunities, at the same time exuding confidence in the standards of innovations on the DEMO Africa stage. He added,

“With each passing year we get to witness the amazing thoughts and hard work of young entrepreneurs, I am confident that on the DEMO Africa stage this year, investors will get to witness innovations that will convince them to channel more of their resources towards technology entrepreneurship.”

Innovators from across Africa have been asked to submit their applications in the 12 application categories which include: Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing and Retail. Others are Media and entertainment, Communication, Transport and Logistics, Energy, Finance and Banking, Water and Sanitation, Waste Management and recycling.
To qualify for DEMO Africa 2015, start-ups must ensure that their products have the ability to impact the marketplace of introduction. A clear business plan and a team capable of delivering the product are also vital. The product 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 main DEMO Africa event is slated for 24th and 25th September. Apply now for a chance to witness the best technology innovations from Africa. This year, various investors will come together to discuss the “Africa opportunity” as well as discuss best practices, share lessons learned and set the road map for the future. These will include investors from the Cairo Angels, Lagos Angels Network, Ivoire Business Angels, Viktoria Angels, Ghana Angel Investors Network, Africa Angels Network, Cameroon Angels and Silicon Cape and others.
See http://www.demo-africa.com/ for more information regarding the DEMO Africa 2015
Editorial contacts:
Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254 20 404 1646
Mobile:+254 726 087 451
Miguel Heilbron| Director of Outreach-VC4Africa
Office:+31 20 233 63 25
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GAIN Opens Funding Applications for Startups

The Ghana Angel Investor Network, the foremost angel investment group in Ghana has opened up applications for Ghanaian owned startups to apply for funding. The application is open to startups for all industry segments in Ghana. To apply, visit www.gain.com.gh to complete the application process. Application for this quarter is open from now till the end of June, but priority will be given to those who apply early.

The Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN) is a network of Angel investors with a passion for investing in early-stage businesses with significant growth prospects and the potential to generate superior returns. GAIN is a body corporate limited by guarantee and established under the laws of Ghana. As a Network, GAIN is not-intended for profit. However, members and beneficiaries seek to derive significant returns on their investments.

The team at GAIN pride themselves on providing a full range of services for both entrepreneurs and investors. They are responsible for coordinating on behalf of the Angels and act as the liaison between entrepreneurs and Angels ensuring that the lines of communication are constantly open.

  • Identify, evaluate and develop investment opportunities
  • Adherence to defined Network processes, deal flow etc
  • Coordinating due diligence
  • Manage communications and relationships
  • Handle publicity and public relations

Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN) recently made their first investment of GHS 350,000 in Revo local Edutech startup providing solutions for the education sector. GAIN, a network of high net worth individuals, was established by the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) to bridge the funding gap for very early-stage companies. VCTF recognized the need to provide a platform for established entrepreneurs to assist aspiring entrepreneurs with capital and mentorship. GAIN launched with only 6 founding members and today has an impressive network of 24 investors, with a keen interest in startups. The GAIN network is diverse with investors having interests in sectors such as technology, agriculture, education and healthcare.

Following the investment, the founders are still working closely with the team at GAIN and the Angel investors and will continue to do so for at least 12 months. Leticia Browne, in charge of Investor Relations at GAIN, said added,

“This is one of the key benefits of working with GAIN as through the GAIN network, entrepreneurs can tap into a wealth of resources via the pool of investors and mentors who are dedicated to assist in building innovative and sustainable businesses.”

If you know of any startup which will benefit from such an opportunity, do well to share this good news with them.

MEST Opens Recruitment to Kenya

The new MEST logo

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology has extended its recruitment boundaries towards East Africa, and specifically to Kenya! Over the past few years, MEST has succeeded in building a software entrepreneurship scholarship program which trains graduates to build globally successful software companies. As part of its efforts to create wealth and jobs across Africa, the school opened recruitment to Nigeria last year. This year, it has gone even further, all the way to Kenya.

The recruitment process in Nigeria brought in 9 out of about 27 trainees for last year. This has brought a good exposure within the program as graduates expect to build global, and not just Ghanaian, products. Hopefully, this recruitment to Kenya will yield great results for the school and the MEST Incubator.

This change also comes amidst the MEST rebranding and several partnerships that MEST has been signing first with Interswitch, then Vodafone, and recently Samsung. Another less popular news update is the program’s shortened duration, which now brings it to a year of training. This could be a good opening to create more software startups in more countries across Africa. These changes and partnerships may just be unraveling MEST’s new phase as it begins to gets into more territories meeting the changing needs and growing tech ecosystem in Africa.

Kenya has been one of Africa’s favourites when it comes to technology and entrepreneurship on the continent. Hopefully, this change will in a way contribute to startup activity in the East African country. It will be an opening to have more startups which have founders form different countries thus increasing general adoption for software across countries on the continent.

MEST has been known to produce some globally acclaimed startups. How do you think these changes will affect the MEST program and the incubator? Is it even necessary? Share your comments.

MEST Shortens Training Period to One Year! Apply Now!

Accra, Ghana
Calling all Ghanaian & Nigerian tech Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Change-makers! Do you know an ideal candidate? Share with them MEST Ghana’s fully sponsored 1 year training program in software development & business development to launch a globally competitive IT company! MEST is looking for the next wave of tech entrepreneurs — could it be you, or do you know someone who qualifies? We are now accepting entrepreneur applications. What We DoMEST offers a 12month/1year fully sponsored program focused on market oriented software development and practical entrepreneurship training. We have trained over 200 IT entrepreneurs and have invested over $15m in supporting software startups that came directly out of MEST. These companies have developed solutions addressing global markets, created jobs, competed in top global technology events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as HealthXL and 500 Startups. What we offer
  • A 12 month fully sponsored world class training program & access to seed funding for your startup
  • Substantial hands on training in software development and entrepreneurship
  • A unique opportunity to launch and grow your tech company with access to global markets
  • Mentoring and coaching from executives in a variety of global software companies
  • Significant personal and professional growth and exciting career potential
  • Numerous chances to solve real life business problems with innovative solutions
  • Housing, monthly stipend, tuition, meals and a laptop all covered by MEST.
Application Qualifications
  • Passion to start a software company
  • Involved in the tech space either as an entrepreneur, consulting or freelancing
  • Entrepreneurial or corporate work experience is an added advantage
  • Can commit a year in Accra, Ghana participating in the MEST training program starting August 2015
  • Applicants from Nigeria must have completed their NYSC

HOW TO APPLY:Submit an online application form here: http://meltwater.org/school/admissions/For any admissions related inquiry, please contact Amma Baffoe via e-mail at: amma.baffoe@meltwater.org APPLICATION DEADLINE (extended)Ghana & Nigeria 10th May 2015. APPLICATION / SCREENING PROCESSApplication Screening / Selection Process:
  1. Aptitude test-(Saturday 2nd May – Kumasi, Sunday 3rd May – Accra)
    • Kumasi – Saturday 2nd May 2015 (WAEC Hall, Hall4), Time: 10:00am – 12:30pm prompt. Confirm your participation here.
    • Accra – Sunday 3rd May 2015 (Jones Quartey Building, Behind the African Studies Dept. at the Univ. of Ghana, Time: 12noon – 2:30pm prompt). Confirm your participation here.
  2. Lagos – To be announced soon.
  3. Interviews: mid-May – Mid June
  4. Successful candidates announced: Late June

AMMA BAFFOE Director of Marketing & Recruitment, MEST T: +233 303 933 257 | M: +233 20 201 4363 amma.baffoe@meltwater.org | www.meltwater.org

DEMO Africa Opens Startup Applications for 2015 Edition

The application window for DEMO Africa 2015 is now open and entrepreneurs can apply from today. The application process will be hosted by DEMO Africa’s partner VC4Africa. The application window will remain open throughout the months of March, April to close by end of May. This will be followed by all the qualifying applications being taken through an adjudication process after which the top thirty will be invited to pitch on the DEMO Africa stage in September during the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.

Commenting on the announcement, Ben White, Co-Founder and CEO of VC4Africa said: “We are looking forward to having even more mature applications this year. This means that competition will be stiff and I would encourage start-up entrepreneurs to present their best.”

Harry Hare, Executive producer for DEMO Africa observed that 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.”

To qualify for DEMO Africa 2015, start-ups must ensure that their products have the ability to impact the marketplace of introduction. A clear business plan and a team capable of delivering the product are also vital. The product 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 include: Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing and Retail. Others are 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. The best thirty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe.

The DEMO Africa Alumni have confirmed that they have been able to find valuable partnerships and learned useful business lessons through interactions by their participation. Last year, DEMO Africa presented 6 start-ups with a chance to tour the Silicon Valley to meet mentors and share with peers. These included; SpacePointe- Nigeria, Chura- Kenya, Nerve- Nigeria, Paysail- Ghana, Jifunza- Rwanda and Saisai-Zimbabwe. Recently, participants in VC4Africa research indicated they successfully raised USD 27 million, many of them being DEMO alumni.

Neal Silverman, Senior Vice President, DEMO Conference observed that Africa’s technology hotbed is simmering.” 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.”

DEMO Africa 2015 is scheduled to take place on 24th and 25th September at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and LIONS@FRICA partnership. As has been witnessed in the previous years, the September event is expected to attract top-notch African investors. Keep to http://www.demo-africa.com/ for updates on participants’ registration.

Submission of applications that meet the above requirements will be accepted online through https://vc4africa.biz/demo-africa/

For more information please contact:

Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254  20  404 1646
Mobile:+254  726 087 451
Email: evelyne.wangui@demo-africa.com

Miguel Heilbron| Director of Outreach-VC4Africa
Office:+31 20 233 63 25
Email: miguel@vc4africa.biz

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Women In Tech Ghana at iSpace

Women in Tech Ghana in commemoration of International Women Day (IWD) will be convening two programs in Collaboration with iSpace Ghana and Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship to support women leaders and entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The Programs are:
Talk on Personal Branding with Otema Yirenkyi (Microsoft Ghana Country Manager) on Personal Branding and Lead Nurturing

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm

Free Event, but places are limited. Get tickets at https://egotickets.com/events/women-in-tech-ghana-march-event

Half a Day Training Session for Female Entrepreneurs on Technology for Business Growth and Marketing on a Budget by Industry experts like Ethel Cofie (CEO of Edel Tech and President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellow) and Ebenezer Amankwah (Head of Corporate Communication Vodafone Ghana)

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Friday 6th March 2015
Time: 9am-2pm
Free Event, but only 25 spots are available. Please apply to be invited at http://goo.gl/forms/1glFk4ongp

Women in Tech Ghana
Women in Technology Ghana is a networking group focused on two main goals encouraging women and girls into Science, Technology , Engineering and  Math careers  and  preventing  women dropping out of technology roles and careers  through  education, providing opportunities and by sharing experiences and lessons learnt. Women in Tech Ghana is affiliated with Women in tech Africa.

Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship
Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship’s goal is to build a community of female entrepreneurs, who are connected and trained with the relevant skills, and to support and enable them to use the right tools to develop mobile applications. In doing so, we also aim to foster entrepreneurship and empower females by inspiring and encouraging them to challenge the status quo.

iSpace Ghana
iSpace Ghana is a unique environment where technology startups can start up faster. We nurture a local network of like-minded and focused tech entrepreneurs, providing space for them to work, meet, collaborate, learn and have fun. By getting the right people together in a physical space, good things happen.

With Dokita, Access to Reliable Health Information Is Just An App Away

Access to reliable health information is generally limited. Reliable health advice is not common outside hospital setting. Finally, ignorance about health issues fosters myths, misconceptions and negative health practices.

Dokita wants to transform the way health information is accessed in Africa. Dokita is a web and mobile application that gives users access to a large network of doctors. Users can get answers to their health questions, get multiple opinions and subscribe to information on topics that interest them and schedule online and offline appointments with their doctors. This allows users to access quality information for making good health choices. Dokita aims to improve access to quality health information in Ghana and across Africa, thereby creating a healthier continent.
Why Dokita
Dokita was born out of a conversation on how to help people get access to good health advice outside of the hospital setting. As mobile usage and Internet access increase across Africa, people are more able to consume information on demand.
Doctors, particularly younger ones, are already beginning to engage with patients on mobile and online, and users are searching for health information online.
What we think we can provide is a streamlined experience that simplifies the process of searching, viewing, organizing and sharing this information in a way that protects privacy and benefits an entire continent.
Value Proposition
Users

  • Connect with Doctors. Get the right answers to your health questions!
  • Schedule your appointments and avoid the waiting line at the hospital.
Doctors

  • Build your professional reputation
  • Meet colleagues from around the world and grow your network
  • Discuss cases with other doctors
  • Share knowledge, empower others and save lives
As part of its features, patients on the platform can:

  • Ask question and get email alert when answer arrives
  • Thank doctors for their answers
  • Follow health topics
  • Follow doctors
  • Book hospital appointments
  • Share useful answers and tips on social media
For doctors on the platform, they are privileged to:

  • Ask question and get email alert when answer arrives
  • Answer questions
  • View other doctors’ opinions
  • Participate in case discussions
  • Follow other doctors
  • Follow health topics
  • Post health tips
  • Agree with answers
  • Recommend colleague doctors
  • Share useful answers and tips on social media
Team
Agana-Nsiire Agana, CEO
Agana is a techie turned software entrepreneur. He is a former manager of the Google Developer Group in Ghana and a graduate of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology.
Agana has worked in Technology since 2006. Agana is passionate about health and education in Africa and sees them as the gateways to holistic development on the continent.
Agana is also a technology evangelist and promotes tech among the youth in Ghana. As a hobby, he enjoys poetry, birdwatching and bird photography.
Steven Blavo
Steven is a techpreneur with a profound interest in software and web development. He has trained as a Public health officer at the School of Hygiene, at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Having always been keenly interested in technology, he marries his passion for public health with the development of enabling software.
Steven loves to follow the latest trends in technology, especially as relates to health delivery in Africa. An avid technology evangelist, he likes to teach programming to young aspiring developers.
When he’s not coding, you’ll find him reading, swimming or reviewing movies.
Social Media/Contact/Job Openings

Find Deals From Telcos With Promolante’s Android App



ACCRA: The Promolante mobile app has launched on the Google Play Store to help Ghanaian phone users get the best and most out of their network provider. The app will make it easy for users to easily discover, subscribe and unsubscribe from promos and services, activate and deactivate data bundles and find relevant shortcodes.

“After we launched the web app, Promolante.com, we had many users asking for a mobile app. Now these users have all the convenience of the Promolante product on their smartphones. No more missing out on promos or calling of friends for shortcodes.”

The Promolante app placed third at the recently held Samsung Developer Challenge in Accra where judges believed the app will greatly benefit Ghanaian phone users.
Some of the features of the app include an instant subscribe. Users of the app can easily activate or deactivate a promo or data bundle. This takes away the burden of having to keep many shortcodes in memory in other to use telco offers. The offline access feature also saves all the offers that is being checked out so when the user is offline, all those offers would still be relevant.

The Promolante app is available for download on the Google Play Store.

MEST-Vodafone Hackathon Diaries (Day 3, FINALE)

And the winner is…

After three gruelling days of sleepless nights and tireless #hacking, 19 apps were finally showcased in a keenly contested battle of hackers. The five main categories were in health, security/alert services, lifestyle/home services, entertainment/games, and transportation/traffic management services. On the whole for some of the ideas, while not particularly novelty, the implementation was quite interesting. In the spirit of simplification the real trick here was about making the app practical, easily accessible and relevant to Ghanaians.

Team CheckIt crowned 2015 #MESTVodafone Hackathon Champions

This hackathon was by many standards very different. There were three levels of assessment; source code review, functionality implementation and pitches(comprising business, pitch quality among other critics considerations). At the end of the event, two teams emerged as winners and runners up. CheckIt, the 2015 #MESTVodafone Hackathon Champions took on the challenge of addressing the nagging issue fake drug peddling in Africa, particularly in Ghana. While their idea is not necessarily novelty, the simplicity of the implementation, the intuitiveness and appeal of the app, and the potential impact seems to have won the hearts of the highly esteemed judges. RoadMate, on the other hand seeks to give real time traffic updates and suggest shortest routes, public transport fares among many benefits to the regular public transport user in Ghana. They choose the crowd sourcing approach which seems to fill the nagging gap in the current Google Maps and Google Navigator due to the almost none existent addressing system in Ghana.

Team RoadMate comes up runners up in the 2015 #MESTVodafone Hackathon. 

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology(MEST) and Vodafone Ghana extend their congratulations to the well deserving teams. All the participants are also invited to the after party at GIMPA.

DevCongress, a proud supporter of the biggest true hackathon in Ghana says a big AYIKOOO  to CheckIt and RoadMate. We hope you don’t abandon the idea and go to sleep. For once, let a fully fledged idea come out of a hackathon. That is the dream!

Here is a peep into the winning apps.

RoadMate

 

CheckIT

 

 

Some highlight from the pitch day

MEST-Vodafone Hackathon Diaries (Day 2)

#Hacking continues unabated.

After the festive opening of the biggest hackathon of the year, the #MESTVodafone #Hackathon  kicked into full gear by day 2. 19 teams/app had been fully confirmed. Hacker have worked feverishly all through the night. It was impressive to find people on code-steroids hacking almost nonstop for 48 hours! The energy and drive is amazing. It is a great feeling in here.

The ideas are another thing. The innovation, the simplistic genius and the tenacity to solve problems is most commendable. Definitely one of the hacks must see the light of day.

One of the ideas that caught attention almost immediately is CaptureIT. They present the most simple way to enable journalist get almost instant access to photos of events around the world as they happen. This takes news crowdsourcing up one notch. Even more interesting is Trodini. Imagine yourself late for a very important meeting and want to get there even faster. Trodden is what will get you there. It crowdsources shortest routs to various locations and real time traffic updates to help users get there on time. It also rewards you to posting your shortcut routes.

Trodini gets you there twice as fast!

As promised, this is not going to be your usual #kpakpakpa code. There will be special source code review and feature implementation test before the pitches. Loaded!

Here are other highlights of day 2.