Round-Up of DEMO Africa 2015 Pre-Pitch event in Accra

A section of the participants at the event. Photo Credit: MEST Twitter Account

As earlier published, DEMO Africa is holding 4 mini-events across Africa in Accra, Nairobi, Harare, and Cairo. The Pre-Pitch event in Accra, held on 10th June, brought together about 9 teams which pitched their products and businesses to get a spot on DEMO Africa stage later this year.

This post will briefly highlight the event and the ideas which were pitched in Accra last Wednesday.

The event began with a 1-minute silence for AccraFloods victims and families. The Project Manager of DEMO Africa, Martin Obuya then introduced the event and told the DEMO Africa success story about Hilda Moraa’s Weza Tele $1million acquisition earlier this year.

The teams then moved into their respective prep rooms to practice for their pitches. The judges took rounds to each team to help them refine their pitches, and highlight their selling points.

Teams resumed after the prep break to pitch in the following order.

Ovisca finds ready market for farmers who produce wholesome farm products. Ovisca’s customer care unit transmits information between farmers and customers. The team plans to export wholesome organic food in 5 years, they currently have a mobile app. Their selling point is that they communicate via IVR in local dialect to farmers.

Flippy Campus helps students to keep track of information on campus. The app/platform also helps to facilitate dissemination between school management, student leadership and student groups. It basically helps students to have a more complete information cycle and helps them plan accordingly.

CustOpinion provides a dashboard which helps companies to receive their feedback from customers through their mobile app. It’s private “messaging” between companies and their users as opposed to “whistle-blowing” or “name-and-shame” customer service websites.

Audry is a mobile app which helps you to capture your moments and memories on the fly. An app targeted at people who love to make memories of their mostly first moments, well suited for teenagers who like to write in diaries. Users can create all forms of audio/visual memorial content for future use.

Asoriba is an enhanced church management platform which revamps church administration and ensures seameless member engagement, finance reporting, team collaboration, etc. Their goal is to make sure churches run efficiently despite their large numbers.

Zeepay provides a platform which accepts mobile money wallets, debits and loyalty cards, and cash at the point of sale, and operates as a store for holding cssh through mobile wallets for members. They provide integrated mobile payments services with mobile wallets targeting the entire population with the objective of bringing the unbanked into the financial stream and easing payments and collections for the banked population.

Mashoud Abongo Ajene pitched his lending business which has over 200 customers in and around Obuasi. Mashoud, a political science graduate who studied in Russia, has a lending business which helps market men and women secure loans in a fairly risk-averse manner. This has helped him keep the business cash-flow positive.

FindHospitals helps people find hospitals which can serve within their price range. In economies where private hospitals are less patronised by the averagely-earning citizen, FindHospitals helps you find a hospital closest to you, which fits your pocket. They had some good success stories to share.

RentDirectGH cuts out the fraudulent and dubious real estate agents by verifying property owners and landlords themselves. They believe that most real estate listing sites are lacking quality assurance, and they want to make that right by taking their own images, meeting landlords, and helping their users to find approved, vetted property at a fee.

After another break and deliberations by the judging team, Flippy Campus, a team of recent MEST trainees won the slot to pitch at DEMO Africa.

Overall, it was a good time. I wish I had seen a lot more startups pitch, though. I look forward to news about the team, and wish the other teams better luck next time.

Congrats to flippy campus! Go rock DEMO Africa!

Two members of the team flanked by two judges on both sides
Two members of the team flanked by two judges on both sides.

Also published on Medium.

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