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Africa's start-ups to launch products in Kenya

30 August 2012, 12:44 Wanjiku Kimaru

Nairobi - Forty of the most innovative start-ups from across Africa will converge in Kenya in October to launch their products at the DEMO Africa stage, the first ever DEMO event in the continent.

DEMO Africa is the flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS@frica) consortium whose partners include DEMO, Microsoft, InfoDEV, Nokia and US Department of State.

This the first ever Pan African technology launch pad and will be hosted by African eDevelopment Resource Centre and CIO East Africa under the auspices of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication.

The DEMO Africa event will be at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, 24th to 26th October 2012 and will attract venture capitalists, angel Investors, investment fund managers, technology buyers, entrepreneurs, companies looking to buy start-ups, innovation supporters & the media. 

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Bitange Ndemo said, “Kenya is very proud to host an event of the stature of DEMO, especially as it is the first one in Africa.”

Bitange Ndemo

Ndemo went on to add that Kenya is becoming a hub for technology and innovation, and that the country was looking forward to share the best of Africa’s home-grown technology innovations with the rest of the world.

All the 40 start-ups launching products at DEMO Africa are a potential investment opportunity. Demonstrators at DEMO US have received US$ 3.5 billion of capital in the last 5 years.

For the purpose of sharing information on investment opportunities in the technology sector, a series of investor round tables have been scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Cape Town and Lagos. The round tables will provide a forum for knowledge sharing so that investors can learn more about investing in the technology sector, which is attracting more foreign investors.

Other partners who have come on board for this venture include Kenya’s ICT Board, VC4Africa, Strathmore University, iHub, mLab Nairobi, mLab South Africa among others. DEMO Africa has already attracted sponsorship from some of the industry top players including Microsoft and Nokia and invites other companies to support the showcase event in October 2012.

Microsoft’s Director Development Platforms for West, East and Central Africa, Dele Akinsade said that building the right partnerships that will give Africa a competitive advantage is a huge focus for them – and a shared passion amongst the DEMO partners.


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