Boosting start-up technology in Africa

The City of Ekurhuleni recently announced that the much-anticipated DEMO Africa Conference was held from November 23 to 24.

The conference took place at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg.

As the launch pad for emerging technology and trends on the continent, the conference attracts people from around the globe who come to experience Africa’s most exciting innovations.

Ekurhuleni spokesperson Themba Gadebe said the conference originated in North America and showcases new products and technologies coming to market.

“It has now established a powerful international network of launch events, including China, Singapore, Brazil and Africa,” said Gadebe.

“Shortlisted companies or start-ups which launch at DEMO Africa have already gone through a rigorous selection and mentorship process to get them prepped for market and investment,” said Harry Hare, executive producer of DEMO Africa.

This year, the City of Ekurhuleni will host this premier conference to identify brand-new and exciting technology start-ups which are worthy of further investment.

“It’s thanks to the Department of Small Business Development, the headline sponsor, as well as the City of Ekurhuleni and Microsoft, each of whom play a vital role in the success of DEMO Africa. At least 180 start-ups have already been launched and connected to investors, technology buyers and the media since DEMO Africa’s inception in 2012 at the World Economic Forum for Africa in Ethiopia,” said Gadebe.

So, what can delegates attending the DEMO Africa conference expect?

Vanessa Clark from MobiFlock summed it up as a whirlwind of inspiration, constructive feedback, endorsement and face-to-face meetings with some of the leading minds on the continent.

“It’s exciting because of its conference format, which means each selected start-up gets six minutes on stage to show how its product will positively impact the world. The delegates get a live show on how the technology being demonstrated can be used meaningfully,” said Clark.

For the start-ups, DEMO Africa is where they get not only the opportunity to showcase their innovations, but also a way for them to network with the right types of people, such as corporate developers and acquirers, trade and mainstream media, venture and angel investors, as well as buyers and entrepreneurs.

Gadebe said the conference will be preceded by intense DEMO Africa boot camps and investor summits.

Apart from the renowned speakers and panelists, there will be 30 new innovative products launched to the world for the first time and 15 content-rich sessions.

DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of [email protected], a public-private alliance aimed at enhancing and deepening the start-up and innovation ecosystems of targeted fast-growing African economies. [email protected] works to connect African start-ups to the global ecosystem.

“To be a delegate at the DEMO Africa conference is to witness something meaningful and inspiring. To get the opportunity to watch so much future potential and talent in technology, while connecting with a network of powerful business people, makes this a dynamic experience,” said Hare.

With partners like Africa Technology Foundation, African eDevelopment Resource Centre, African Development Bank, The World Bank Group (InfoDev), US State Department, Microsoft, Intel and Google, expect to be exposed to some of the world’s most inspiring technology brands while connecting with some of Africa’s most exciting future innovators, at DEMO Africa 2017.

For more information contact Jessica Barnes at The Business Place on 011 833 0340 or email [email protected]

Buli Sonqishe

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