The jurists who have been hand-picked based on their experience and contribution to the start-up scene in Africa include; Dele Akinsade-Nigeria, Stephen Gugu-Kenya, Bob Mbori-Tanzania, Victor Okigbo-Nigeria, Ali Hussein-Kenya, Rebecca Enonchong-Cameroon, Moses Sitati- Kenya, Kevin Schuster-Ghana, Martin Burtler-South Africa, Muchiri Nyaga-Kenya, Lukonga Lindunda-Zambia, Toby Shapshak-South Africa and Richard Tanksley-Ghana.
According to Harry Hare, the DEMO Africa Executive producer, “The jury is composed of highly experienced individuals and I am positive that they will pick the best by global standards.”
The judges will vet the applications and then shortlist the best forty from the applications submitted from across the region. Ali Hussein one of the judges from Kenya, expressed optimism in the applicants. “Having been a judge in the previous DEMO Africa, I know there is a tough task ahead. The applications are usually very competitive. It’s not easy to decide who makes it to the final forty. However, our decision will be based on the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability”.
The best forty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. Before launching, the startups will undergo a one and a half month coaching and mentorship program organized by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The program will be coordinated by Dr Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.
Scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, DEMO Africa is expected to attract top notch African investors and corporate shareholders from across the continent and globally. DEMO Africa is also giving investor delegates a 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Bootcamp at DEMO Africa as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa .
DEMO Africa 2014 has been organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and VC4Africa among others.
VC4Africa confirmed that 27 African countries are represented and that Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana have the highest applicants. Communication, Retail and Media & Entertainment also have the highest applicants. “The entrepreneurs who are accepted as applicants should make sure their profiles are brushed up to convince the judges,” said VC4Africa Founder Ben White.