30 African Tech Startups Chosen To Pitch At DEMO Africa

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Thirty tech startups from seven African countries have been chosen out of 600 applicants to launch their products and tell their stories — in just 90 seconds — at the 2015 DEMO Africa event, scheduled for September in Lagos.

Nigeria and Kenya each have eight startups on the pitch list; South Africa has three; Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and Zimbabwe each have two; and Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Uganda each have one startup heading to DEMO Africa 2015.

DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica, which was launched by the U.S. State Department in collaboration with Microsoft, DEMO, USAID, and Startup Weekend. LIONS@frica stands for Liberalizing Innovation Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA) Partnership. It’s a public-private alliance aimed at enhancing and deepening the startup and innovation ecosystems of targeted fast-growing African economies.

The chosen startups represent a broad range of industries, but there is a clear winner in 2015 — finance and banking — with eight products. Other categories include education, transport and logistics, retail, communication and media and entertainment.

DEMO Africa aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. It provides a platform to launch products from the most innovative startups in Africa and to show the world what they have developed, according to the DEMO Africa website.

The 30 chosen startup will enter a mentorship program which will run until Sept. 22, aimed at sharpening the pitching skills of the entrepreneurs in preparation for the DEMO Africa stage at a week-long event.

Industry players who will be leading discussions at DEMO Africa 2015 include the following: Jorn Lyseggen, founder of MEST; Harry Tomi Davies, president of ABAN; Folabi Esan, partner at Adlevo Capital; and Jason Njoku, CEO of IROKO TV.

Here are the 30 African tech startups chosen to pitch at DEMO Africa, including the entrepreneur’s names and categories of business, according to DEMO Africa.

Nigeria

– SmartEdu (Molawi Adesuyi, education)
– PoshRite (Chidimma Nwankwo, media and entertainment)
– Mavis Computel (Chizaram Ucheaga, education)
– Oga Venue (Andrew Airelobhegbe, transport and logistics)
– TalkingBookz (Kolapo Ogungbile, education)
– CarpartsNigeria (Ade Oladapo, automotive)
– Zuvaa (Kelechi Anyadiegwu, retail)
– iKon Tracker (Adedayo Charis, communication)

Kenya

– SimbaPay (Nyasinga Onyancha, finance and banking)
– ENTMobile (Andrew Kamau, communication)
– Bitsoko (Daniel Bloch, finance and banking)
– BambaPOS (Karogi Kamau, retail)
– InsureAfrika (Gagan Hayer, finance and banking)
– Abacus (Joel Macharia, finance and banking)
– Shield Finance (name not provided, finance and banking)
– LipaPlus (Ndeeri Macharia, finance and banking)

South Africa

– Edge Books (Daniel Oluwagbemiga ben-Daniel, retail)
– Bozza Media (Emma Kaye, media and entertainment)
– Eco-mc2 (Magriet Leaper, energy)

Cameroon

– Koomza (Longchi Gide Kanouo, education)
– Feem Wifi (Fritz Ekwoge Ekwoge, communication)

Egypt

– LockName (Mourad Ashry, transport and logistics)
– Raye7 (Name not provided)

Ghana

– Flippy Campus (education)
– Zeepay Mobile Financial Services (Andrew Takyi-Appiah, finance and banking)

Zimbabwe

– IPC eProductivity (Lovemore Jokoya, finance and banking)
– RoadRules (transport and logistics)

Uganda

– Roundbob (David Gonahasa)

Ivory Coast

– Airshop (Francis Yapobi, retail))

Tanzania

– Tango TV (Victor Joseph, media and entertainment)