Thirty African startups will get a chance to introduce their businesses and pitch their products and services to a dream audience — we’re talking venture capitalists, angel investors, and investment fund managers — at DEMO Africa 2016.
Scheduled for Aug. 25-26 in Johannesburg, the fifth annual Demo Africa is expected to attract tech buyers, entrepreneurs, innovation supporters and media from around the world.
That’s because the founding partners of Lions@frica — the initiative that created Demo Africa — include governments and private mega corporations from around the world: the U.S. State Department, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Microsoft, Venture Capital for Africa, Nokia, InfoDEV, African Development Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, DEMO, Startup Weekend, Appfrica, Business Action for Africa, Business Fights Poverty, and Venture Hive.
Launched at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa, the partnership is on track to achieve its goal to support 100,000 entrepreneurs as they launch and expand tech-based businesses by 2020.
This year’s event is supported by the City of Johannesburg, the South African Department of Science and Technology, Google, World Bank, and African Technology Foundation, according to Demo Africa.
The 30 finalists were picked from 723 tech startups in 27 African countries that applied to launch at the event. Out of the 30, South Africa has 11 startups, Nigeria has six, Kenya has five, and Ghana has three. Other countries represented include Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Their products include logistics, retail, e-commerce, education, banking and finance, media, renewable energy, health and agriculture. Banking and financial technologies had the highest number of entries followed by media, e-commerce and education, according to Demo Africa.
Judging began in June 2016, with a continental jury reviewing documents submitted by the startups, a review of their online properties, and testing some of the apps that are online.
“But the judges also look at the innovation, viability and the product-market fit,” said MbuguaNjihia, event director.
“It was difficult to come up with this list,” said Harry Hare, executive director of Demo Africa. “Any of the short-listed companies could make an impression on the Demo Africa stage due to the quality and their potential. But we can only have 30 companies. I would like to congratulate all the companies that participated and encourage them to continue building their business.”
The following list includes some of the 30 startup finalists for Demo Africa 2016, according to Demo Africa and Techpoint.ng:
Reel Gardening is a prefertilized seed product handmade by previously unemployed mothers. The startup hopes to kickstart a planting revolution.
SolarCap generates electricity during the daytime through solar cells and allows the energy to keep the light on at night. It uses what it describes as a revolutionary ultracapacitor to store energy.
RadioVybe is a social radio with a social community of radio lovers who can connect with their favorite traditional radio stations and friends. It was built to revolutionize the way we listen to radio and music.
Sortd says it transforms the way we work with email. It brings email conversations, tasks and priorities together in one intuitive work space, and works right inside gmail.
K Measure is a Pretoria-based supplier of electronic test and measurement equipment for the electronic, electrical and automotive engineering industries in South Africa and Africa.
Zivo learning is a language tech startup that develops language learning and translation tools.
FlexyPAY is a startup company with technology capable of helping the global mobile wallet industry make ubiquitous transactions possible for everybody.
IT Brothers is a Nairobi-based software company focused on mobile and web application. Ity integrates graphic design, web page layout and interactive programming with database-driven content to plan, build and deploy e-business.
Strauss Energy provides renewable and cost-effective energy through BIPV technology, a revolutionary solar-powered roofing tile designed and made in Kenya.
MumsVillage is an online destination dedicated to enriching the lives of mothers and mothers-to-be in urban Kenya. The co-founders created it as a home for Kenyan moms to relax and express themselves in a community of like-minded friends. The site features doulas, doctors, nutritionists and fitness experts.
Ujuzi Compliance is a brand of Ujuzi Software Solutions, which focuses on anti-money laundering. It is an AML solutions provider based in Nairobi.
Boresha Ltd. is a digital educational content creator and aggregator that produces relevant curriculum-aligned digital resources from various educational content providers through technology.
Iyris KO is a technology company interested in bringing innovate mobile and computer software and applications. On its website, the creators say, “We carry the burden of genius, and we promise not to rest until users have simpler, faster and more convenient experiences.”
The philosophy behind this loyalty program is repeat customers rewarded and businesses sales increased. The goal for Loystar is to help businesses build loyalty with happy customers.
An on-demand platform connects you to verified and skilled artisans.
An e-commerce platform for sales of artworks – originals, prints, photography and sculptures. The artists are mainly Nigerians.
Shuttlers is a multi-staff bus company set up to help professionals in the Lagos area resolve the daily challenge of commuting to work.
RubiQube is a mobile platform that gives users unlimited access to a variety of innovative, locally developed apps.
SharpHire is a company behind some of Africa’s most innovative Internet startups like PushCV and Piggybank. The company builds products that solve real problems that make life easier, focusing on the labor market.
VugaPay is a fast and safe way to send and receive mobile money payments online without sharing financial information.
TeleScrypts provides electronic medical data through a low-cost mobile app and wearable medical device sensors that connect to regional hospitals.
LipaMobile (Lipa is Swahili for “make payment”) is a fast and easy online m-payment platform to securely send and receive mobile money across all networks in Uganda.