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

Saisai Grabs SWELL Innovation Award As DEMO Africa Comes To A Close

Last Friday marked the final day of the 2014 edition of DEMO Africa. The event which drew the attention of top investors, IT buyers, IT consumers, Government officials and IT enthusiasts from across Africa, saw new flames fanned around the unveiled innovations.

The event has ended on an indescribable high note as Saisai from Zimbabwe rightfully scooped the SWELL Innovation award with Irofit and VOTO taking the first and second runners up positions respectively. The start-up will receive an all-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley as part of the SWELL Innovation Tour, which includes the exclusive participation in SWELL’s intensive soft landing program in Silicon Valley. Mike Chen, SWELL’s Founder expressed his excitement to be holding the inaugural SWELL Innovation awards in Africa and partnering with DEMO Africa. “I am confident that the SWELL Awards in Africa will represent an important element of the Global Startup Engagement platform to accelerate disruption and invoke corporate participation.”

Harry Hare the Executive Producer of DEMO Africa commended the participants for showing such great enthusiasm towards finding the much needed solutions for Africa. 

“It is inspiring to see that, now, more attention is being accorded the pursuit of solutions to problems that are uniquely African. The continent has one of the most diverse and talented pool of young people and finally, we are seeing a real intent by authorities to utilize the massive power within these brains to bring positive change, especially through technology.”

This week at DEMO Africa, besides the boom Camp and the Ampion Venture bus which graced this year’s event, serious minds came together through various organized meetings including the LIONS@frica Summit and the Pan African Angel Investors Summit which were held on Wednesday. VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White explained that the introduction of the new exclusive investor only event as part of the DEMO Africa is the next step in making sure the leading innovators from across the continent are going to get the backing they need to achieve scale. “We have seen angel networks emerging across the continent and now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.”

This year’s event had been organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

The DEMO Africa 2014 event was sponsored by Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NIITDA), Software Giant Microsoft, USADF, Department of State, Evernote, SWELL, Airtel, Bank of Industry, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Accenture, MTN, Oasis Management Company, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Main One.

DEMO Africa, one of the flagship initiatives of the LIONS@FRICA partnership has over the years cemented its reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies, and served as a launch pad event for Africa technology start-ups. The DEMO experience is 22 years old globally and in its third year in Africa with chapters in the United States, Europe, Brazil and Asia.

DEMO Africa Kicks Off In Lagos

The DEMO Africa event finally kicked off at the Lagos Oriental Hotel in Nigeria to an expectant audience of top investors, IT buyers, IT consumers, Government officials and IT enthusiasts from across Africa.

The event which begun on an amazing high note, saw the first batch of the forty DEMO Africa finalist launch their IT generated solutions with the hope of attracting the right eye to take their innovation to the next level. These included VOTO Mobile from Ghana, Chura from Kenya, Cube and Hutbay from Nigeria.

Welcoming the guests, Honorable Minister of Communication Technology Dr Omobola Johnson commented that Africa is no longer a continent plagued with disease, hunger and illiteracy.  She emphasized that Africa is rising and it’s time to invest in Africa. “Aside from Asia, we are the fastest rising continent and we are very excited as a government about the prospects that we are seeing in our young .I would urge the demonstrators to believe that it is possible to be the next Alibaba.”

Harry Hare the Executive Producer of DEMO Africa commended the participants for showing such great enthusiasm towards finding the much needed solutions for Africa. 

“It is inspiring to see that, now, more attention is being accorded the pursuit of solutions to problems that are uniquely African. The continent has one of the most diverse and talented pool of young people and finally, we are seeing a real intent by authorities to utilize the massive power within these brains to bring positive change, especially through technology.”

The DEMO Africa forum has seen serious minds put together through various organized forums including the LIONS@frica Summit and the Pan African Angel Investors forum held yesterday. VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White explains: “Going into the third year of DEMO Africa, we are excited to introduce a new exclusive investor-only event as part of the DEMO Africa 2014 event. This is the next step in making sure the leading innovators from across the continent are going to get the backing they need to achieve scale. At the same time, we see angel networks emerging across the continent. Now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.”

Tomorrow will see the final group of the Final Forty take to the DEMO Africa stage as well as see eight of the start-ups participate in the SWELL Innovations awards. The winner will receive a one week business development & investor roadshow in Silicon Valley. 

This year’s event has been organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

The DEMO Africa 2014 event is sponsored by Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NIITDA), Software Giant Microsoft, USADF, Department of State, Evernote, SWELL, Airtel, Bank of Industry, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Accenture, MTN, Oasis Management Company, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Main One.

DEMO Africa, one of the flagship initiatives of the LIONS@FRICA partnership has over the years cemented its reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies, and served as a launch pad event for Africa technology start-ups. The DEMO experience is 22 years old globally and in its third year in Africa with chapters in the United States, Europe, Brazil and Asia.

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

Mr. Yele Okeremi | Chairman, Nigerian Local Organising Committee
Mobile: +234 803 304 1049
Email: yele@thepfs.biz

Tony Elumelu, Other Top Business Executives Attending DEMO 2014

A sneak preview into DEMO-Africa’s list of expected guests has revealed the names of some of the most influential business and technology personalities. The list features Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr. Baybars Altuntas, Vice president of The European trade Association for Business Angels (EBAN); Fernando de Sousa, the General Manager, Microsoft for Africa initiative; Mr. Jason Njoku the founder of IROKO and Mr. John. Momoh, the CEO, of Channels TV, Nigeria.

This year’s edition of DEMO Africa which will also be addressed by the Minister for Communication Technology, Dr (Mrs.) Omobola Johnson and her counterpart in the ministry, PS, Dr Tunji Olaopa, is expected to fuel discussions geared towards making critical adjustments that will allow Africa to create a better environment for business.

Besides gracing the event to scout for talent on the DEMO Africa stage, the key guests are scheduled to exchange ideas at the Angels Investors Summit on the 24th which will allow a knowledge exchange between the continent’s various angel investors and map out the future of angel investing in Africa.

Commenting on the heightened excitement from the expected participation, Mr. Yele Okeremi, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, expressed confidence on the outcome of the event. “We feel honored to be able to host some of Africa’s biggest minds. We are positive that the ideas shared at this forum will be implemented to make Africa realize the dream of self-sufficiency.”

SpacePointe’ s   founder Sayu Abend, one of the finalists scheduled to pitch on the DEMO Africa, expressed optimism in the event stating that the unique mix of mentors and role models expected at the event is a rich source of important lessons for young entrepreneurs and the start-up businesses in Africa. “I am positive that SpacePointe and other participating start-ups are bound to grow from this experience.”

The DEMO Africa event preparations are now in the very final stages. Participants are being called upon to sign up on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325 to secure their participation. There is a special package available to investor delegates which comprises 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4Africa Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found athttp://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

#DEMOTop40 : mergims Aggregates Product Listings from Merchants Across Africa

Online retailing is growing across Africa. Several startups are making strides in targeting these sectors. One of such startups is mergims. Mergims is currently listing merchants to its site and mobile app to allow diaspora members purchase goods or services online for their loved one in Africa.

Product
A website and a mobile application (IOS now, soon an Android app)

Value
Our business model will bring the cost much lower than the 10% minimum charged by Western Union and its lookalikes . The processes will take 5 minutes instead of 2 hours required in average.

Successes

  • We have an angel investor with us, Mr Pule from African Angel Network
  • We have our IOS mobile App ready
  • We made it in top 40 for DEMO Africa 2014
  • We are securing partnership with merchants in East Africa that we can not disclose for now
  • We have a strong team
  • Lot of followers on various social media platforms
The MERGIMS Team

Team
MERGIMS (combination of merging markets was started in the summer 2012) is run by the following people:

  • Muhire Louis-Antoine, a Canadian University graduate in communications. As the Founder & CIO and in charge of investor relations Muhire has been in Internet business since he was 20 years old. The Rwanda-born entrepreneur left Rwanda after the genocide and has been living in Canada since then.
  • Gilbert Niyo Mugabo, COO, who has been to US and Canadian universities graduated in Logistics, a Siupply Chain Specialist with extensive experience in business administration.
  • 2 Partners (Mr Rey Lionel, Accountant; Miss Ayesha Akhtar, Legal manager and Executive Marketing)
  • Mr Jean Paul Mugizi, Technical Product Manager and IT Consultant

Development Stack
Confidential

Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
PR : Muhire Louis Antoine ,CIO and Co-founder muhirela@mergims.com

Website : www.mergims.com
Twitter : @infomergims
Facebook: /MERGIMS

Job opening : CEO, Webmaster and CRM with experience and ready to work in  East Africa.

Microsoft Takes Up Platinum Sponsorship for DEMO Africa 2014


PRESS RELEASE

1st September 2014

Software Giant, Microsoft to sponsor this year’s DEMO Africa Event

Microsoft Corporation has taken up platinum sponsorship for this year’s edition of DEMO Africa that will be held later in the month, in Lagos, Nigeria. The company will participate in the event for the 3rd time under the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative.
The sponsorship will see Microsoft offer financial support for the event where 40 tech based start-ups from across Africa are expected to pitch to potential investors. DEMO Africa recently released the names of the final 40 start-ups that will launch on the DEMO Africa stage where Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt will have the highest representation.

Commenting on the collaboration, Fernando de Sousa, GM Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, underscored the importance of innovations to the growing African economy. “DEMO Africa has given a platform for investors to realize the enormous potential amongst African youth showcased through startups. As an organization that has operated in the continent for over 20 years, Microsoft believes  Africa’s economic take-off to long-term growth prospects  will be determined by the investment decisions we make today in support of  youth initiatives. ”

Welcoming the support, DEMO Africa’s Executive Producer, Harry Hare commented that investor’s confidence plays a very critical role in motivating start-up entrepreneurs .” We acknowledge the support of Microsoft and their efforts in uplifting young entrepreneurs in Africa. It’s this kind of support that assures us that the future is indeed bright for Africa and at DEMO Africa we are keen to make our contribution to this success.

As has been witnessed in the past, the September event is expected to attract top investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. Participants’ registration is already open on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325.

The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises:15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at http://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners, VC4Africa and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

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

Annette Mutuku|PR & Communications Lead, Africa Initiatives at Microsoft:Email:v-amutuk@microsoft.com)africa.com

#DEMOTop40 : Nikweli Is An SMS-Based Job Matching Service

Nikweli is a mobile-to-web job matching platform that connects employers and job seekers for service and industry sector positions. Job seekers register their standardized professional details through SMS. We control quality of the database. Employers search and compile candidates online with a click. We aim to expand reach, reduce cost and time, and bring more transparency for employers and job seekers alike.

Product
Job seekers register their standardized professional details through an automatic SMS survey. We have various checking mechanisms to try to make sure the details are as accurate and detailed as possible. Employers search for candidates on our web interface with criteria that are important to them. They can compile chosen candidates with a click. Once the employer pays, they will be able to see the full information and contact details of the candidates they have chosen. The shortlisting process is done. The rest is up to the employers to interview their candidates.

There is a lot of potential for expansion with additional functionalities to make sure the experience is smooth and painless for both employers and job seekers alike.

Value
Problem: In Tanzania, 850,000 candidates enter the labour market each year. Most struggle to find employment due to financial constraints, few connections, and inaccurate knowledge. Employers complain about time and financial cost to find honest and good workers.

Opportunity: With more than 90% of job seekers able to use a simple phone – compared to only 12% with internet access – there is an enormous opportunity to leverage mobile technology to provide a scalable recruitment solution.

Solution: Nikweli is faster, easier and more efficient for employers and job seekers alike than our competitors. Candidates register their professional details from a simple phone. Employers search, sort, and shortlist candidates via an intuitive online interface.

Our main competitors are recruitment agencies, websites with job postings, and two other new job postings through SMS services. We believe our targets and methods to reach our clients are different enough from our competitors that we occupy a good-size niche.

Successes
We have over 600 job seekers signed up. Currently, we are scaling our database to 1000+ candidates. We have 10 employers signed up for trials since our prototype 1.0 was realised. We are pushing for our second phase of employer trials in the next 3 weeks.

We are also in discussions on partnerships with Millicom/Tigo, Restless Development, Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, and other partners.

Current:
Restless Development -presence in the youth job-seekers community
VIBINDO – presence in the informal sector community

Prospective (discussions with partner are ongoing):
TIGO – mobile operator focusing on youth and low income customer segment in Tanzania (and subsequently other mobile operators in the country)
DTBi – business incubator in Tanzania, offering connection with local technology community for building the platform

Awards:
– Semi-Finalist at the Rice Business Plan Competition 2014 (http://alliance.rice.edu/rbpc.aspx); currently under mentorship program from the Rice Business Plan Competition.

– Top 40 Startup Finalist for DEMO Africa 2014 (www.demoafrica2014.com) to present in Lagos, Nigeria in September 2014.

Tifany Tong
Agnieszka Łyniewska

Team
Combined, we have 10+ years of experience in Tanzania, especially in private sector development. Whether in the field, in the city, with private companies or public organizations, we have the business savvy, technical skills, experience, and passion to make Nikweli happen.

Our two co-founders are Tiffany Tong and Agnieszka Łyniewska.
Agnieszka is the original founder of Nikweli. She worked as a private sector development economist at the World Bank in Tanzania and as a strategy consultant in London and Spain. She finished her MBA at London Business School. Apart from the original idea and passion to implement it, she brings to Nikweli business acumen, management skills as well as relationships and knowledge of Tanzanian business environment.

Tiffany is the other co-founder of Nikweli. She has lived in East Africa (Tanzania and Uganda) for over 4 years, working in operations in rural villages and capital cities; with donors and private companies. She most recently coordinated an impact evaluation research project with the World Bank in Tanzania. She brings detailed local knowledge and hard-earned project implementation skills to Nikweli.

Development Stack
Confidential

Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Web: http://nikweli.com or https://vc4africa.biz/ventures/nikweli/
Twitter: @Nikweli_tz
Facebook: /nikweli.tz
Or email us at info@nikweli.com

#DEMOTop40 : m-MuZiik Is A Music Streaming Service For Feature Phones

Product
m-MuZiik ( formerly MuZik) is a music streaming service for feature phones , first. On-demand, without Internet connection, users access unlimited free legal music and live new music experience on the go. No app to install, no music storage, just SMS an information about a song, and m-MuZiik plays it on your mobile phone.

Value

  • Unlimited free music
  • Musical listening every where you go
  • No apps to install
  • No Internet Connection required

Successes
Demo Africa Top 40

Team

  • Patrick Mveng ( @adelphepatrick) , CEO & Founder , Looking for Adam 2.0
  • Diane Djiele, CFO
  • Moïse Keutchatcham, UX Engineer
  • Germain Akono, GSM Engineer


Development Stack

  • GSM Technologies
  • Proprietary Artificial Intelligence algorithms (Machine Learning, NLP, Machine Marketing)


Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Twitter : @mmuziik
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/m-MuZiik
Email : mmuziik@adelrick.com

#DEMOTop40 : Integrated Medics Is a Medical Info Management System for Hospitals

D8ONE8 Technologies Limited has developed an array of software mostly suited for the African continent. These products include Integrated School Portal, Autoklic, Gospeltunes, Capstone Manager, Mediclue, etc. Integrated Medics is one of D8ONE8’s products, and it has made it to the Top 40 list of this year’s DEMO Africa list of startups.

Product
Integrated MEDICS is a user friendly, multi-functional, web based Medical Information Management System, otherwise called Medics, designed to computerize all classes of hospitals, while putting into consideration the complexities involved in the medical industry.

Value

  1. All medical and non-medical department within hospital on a single platform
  2. Best inpatient management platform
  3. Hundreds of medical reports
  4. Platform and back-end independent
  5. The best in time of financial reporting (Get real time balance sheet)
  6. Multi-tenants
  7. Well documented – no need of special training before use
  8. Audit trail
  9. Beautiful User Interface and User friendly
  10. Highly customizable interface

Successes
Integrated MEDICS is currently running in General Hospital, Niger State, Nigeria.

Team

  • Gbenle Oladapo
  • Tobi Ogunbode
  • Dele Bamidele

Development Stack
Confidential

Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Web: www.integratedmedics.com
Email: info@integratedmedics.com

#DEMOTop40 : Foodstantly Is An Online Marketplace for Food

Foodstantly is an online marketplace for food. Foodstantly uses technology to provide market access to farmers, food traders and restaurant. We do this by providing them with a mobile –web platform to set up shops, accepts payment, display good, promote goods and deliver direct to millions of consumers across the nation.
The sellers are given an easy simple to use interface to register, set up online shop and start selling through their mobile phones or internet enabled device.

Product
Our 3 main products are:

  • Ready to cook: for farmer, food traders, frozen food dealers and restaurants to set up online shop and sell and deliver food stuffs/farm produce direct to consumers. Thereby saving the consumers the stress and hassles of going to the open air market to buy foodstuffs and farm produce.
  • Ready to eat: is for restaurant discovery and online meal ordering .Restaurant and fast-food can set up shop, sell and deliver to consumers. Consumers can in the comfort of their homes or offices order for meals and take delivery at their doorpost .Solving the challenges of traffic, hassles, time wastage etc.
  • Farm Produce Aggregation: this involves entering into partnership with farms, take delivery from the farm gate of all their harvest, sort it in sorting centres and sell it direct to consumers on the platform.

Value
For consumers we provide convenience and same they time. For sellers we provide them with easy market access and use technology to grow their business without any physical barrier.

Successes
We have sellers from across the nation sign up these are farmers, food traders, food wholesalers and restaurant chains. We also have users registered across the country and monthly our order are growing. We also are opening up new channels and products to complement the existing ones.

Team
We are a 6-man team made up of individuals skilled in business development, marketing and product development.

About The Founder

I’m Uche Ariolu, professionally a lawyer but at heart an entrepreneur; I love building businesses and love creating jobs. I have set up a series of small business from my school days. I worked for a while in the food and hospitality industry and gained a lot of knowledge about the industry as well as worked in the ICT outsourcing industry as a freelancer for 10 years. Just before I set up Foodstantly I set up TicketMyPal an event discovery and online ticket sales platform for shows,events,seminars and entertainment.


Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Email: info@foodstantly.com
Facebook; Foodstantly
Twitter: @Foodstantly
Instagram: Foodstantly
Web: foodstantly.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/foodstantly

We need marketing executives and content writers and graphic designers at the moment.
Phone:08033398189
Personal Twitter:@chayex
Personal Facebook;Uchay Ariolu
Personal Linkedin: ng.linkedin.com/in/ucheariolu/