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.