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DEMO Africa Names 40 Best Startups |Nigeria Shines With 14 out of 40

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 demoafrica_mainimageDEMO Africa has announced the 40 best tech startups that will take part in the competition in September this year with Nigeria taking the lion’s share followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt.

Other African countries to be represented are Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa which have two start ups each and Tunisia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe have earned their space at the DEMO Africa platform.

The competition attracted 400 hundred applications but only 242 had met the threshold for the adjudication; Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana recorded the highest number of entries.

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In the 12 categories available for application, Communication had  the highest number of applications with a total of 76 applications received, and will be represented by 14 projects of the final forty being in this category. Finance and banking will also have a good representation of 8 out of 18 entries received. Other categories that will have high representation on the DEMO Africa stage include retail, health and education.

No entries were made for the Water & Sanitation, and Waste Management & Recycling categories, an indication that stakeholder still have to work on entrepreneurs’ confidence to encourage homemade solutions across all sectors.

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Commending the African entrepreneurs, the Nigeria Minister for Communication Technology, Honourable Mrs Omobola Johnson, stressed that; “This presents another opportunity for African tech startups. Africa may have missed out on the industrial revolution, but we surely will not in the ICT revolution. Through innovation, we will put Nigeria and Africa in general on the ICT map. Realizing the huge potential of the software industry, we have put in place a set of initiatives that will assist the tech startups to create successful businesses, which will directly create jobs and wealth.”

The DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare, acknowledged the efforts by all the participating start-ups and called upon the investors to support the work of these young entrepreneurs.

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”We had really amazing entries this year, but unfortunately the DEMO Africa team can only accommodate forty for now. The high number of entries is inspiring. It only shows that entrepreneurs have risen above the fear of venturing into new waters to create new products. This in itself shows that confidence levels in Africa made solutions are steadily rising. I am confident that we will get to levels where we can generate solutions that can be applied globally.”

VC4Africa Founder, Ben White, observed that the standard of applications continues to rise each year with Victor Okigbo one of the DEMO Africa’s jurists supporting him by commenting that the judges task to shortlist the final forty was not easy.

The application for this year’s DEMO Africa opened in March 2014 closing in June. The applications were then fine combed by a panel comprising top minds in business and tech leaders from across Africa. The criterion for adjudication was the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability.

The selected 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. They will also benefit from one and a half month coaching and mentorship program to be spearheaded by DEMO Africa and the US State Department.

The Mentorship program will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.

Top notch African investors are expected in Nigeria for the event and participants registration is already open on

The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 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 Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at

demoafrica_mainimageDEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being 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

Here is the list:

Shamba Technologies Designs domestic power products for the 115 million families in Africa without power (Tanzania)

mergims An online platform set to enable African immigrants, around the world, to pay tuition fees, airtime and utility bills for their loved ones back home than just sending money each month(Rwanda)

Prepclass an education technology company that uses the latest web technologies to ensure that relevant local content such as past questions, class notes, flashcards are available to students on their digital devices (Nigeria)

SmartPesa Allows merchants to accept credit card payments using a mobile phone. Comprising a low cost card reader, App and server-side processing (South Africa)

KitiwaKitiwa helps ordinary Africans send and receive money, cheaply, instantly, using the bitcoin technology (Ghana)

CubeCube enables anyone (whether individual or business entity) to accept card payments in person with their existing phone (even a basic phone), anywhere, anytime, real-time without the internet (and can also work with Internet, if preferred) (Nigeria)

LocName a web and mobile application that enables people to find businesses easily using their LocNames (Egypt)

TrafficBytes  An end-to-end solution allows mobile operators and telecom vendors to leverage existing big data and provide realtime accurate roads traffic information. Egypt)

Oradian The cloud based core banking system for microfinance (Nigeria)

MyeCampus.netAn online teaching and learning platform (Ghana)

Nerve delivers cost-effective, higher quality & mobile convergent smart devices & services to inspire greater productivity in next billion people in emerging nations (Nigeria)

SokoNect An agribusiness solution designed to shorten the distribution channels of agricultural produce while facilitating fast trade between farmers and their prospective buyers (Kenya)

IroFit Develop mobile card payment system (Nigeria)

NiKweli A mobile-to-web job matching platform that connects employers and job seekers for lower skill, “blue collar” type positions. Job seekers register their standardized mini-CV through SMS (Tanzania)

MobileJobs (mjobs) powered by SOMTECA web and mobile job alert and recruitment services that allows job seekers to get information about job vacancies and helps employers to get the right candidate immediately (Ethiopia)

Online Hisab A cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution (Ethiopia)

PieRide A ridesharing technology platform offering monthly subscription transportation service for daily commuters (Egypt)

HutbayA platform that helps real estate consumers find and share vital information about real estate, mortgages and connect with real estate professionals in Nigeria.(Nigeria)

VOTO MobileA mobile phone notification and survey platform removes the barriers to insightful mobile communication between citizens worldwide and the organizations that serve them (Ghana)

PlibyAn online platform for African music lovers (Benin)

JifunzaApp called Menya for creating and sharing fun educational lessons on African languages amongst your friends , students and the world (Rwanda)

SpellAfrica InitiativeAn app which uses photos/images to inculcate English vocabulary in the minds and hearts of the users (Nigeria)

ASiMAn integrated tool with Quickbooks and SAP Business One to produce rich, real-time business intelligence (Kenya)

Feedbackplus Feedbackplus lets customers give feedback to different organizations online or through a mobile app either on the spot as each event is taking place or later at each customer’s convenience (Nigeria)

SpacePointeAn e-commerce marketplace which focuses on the African retailer (Nigeria)

VIGOA fully responsive website building tool allowing African entrepreneurs and business owners to create their own beautiful websites from any device, including a feature phone.(South Africa)

Valuraha Group A platform that simulates the African Financial Markets enabling one to interact with various investment instruments, under actual market conditions, using virtual money (Kenya).

Cribpark A platform that provides people with all the information about housing, catalogue of home designs to choose from, shop to buy their housing items and a project section to offer design and construction project management services (Nigeria)

Saisaia wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hot-spots in public areas and public transportation.(Zimbabwe)

Churaallows interoperability between different mobile networks in a multi-SIM environment (Kenya)

matibabua Phone Application for early, non-invasive malaria diagnosis with a custom piece of hardware (Matiscope) (Uganda)

Paysaila simple way for businesses and accountants to better manage payroll.(Ghana)

Integrated MedicsA web based application package to computerize any large scale hospital, while putting into consideration the complexities involved in the medical industry.(Nigeria)

CONNECT FINANCE A software which allows companies to track their finances, create invoices, quotations, sales orders, way bills, payments etc.(Nigeria)

MuZik A virtual assistant which makes mobile phone subscriber’s life more eaier, by providing the right music or information , automatically grabbed on Internet, for feature mobile phone (Camroun)

What’sIn™Mobile application platform service allows consumers with chemical allergies to instantly find the correct information when they scan a product UPC (Tunisia)

FoodstantlyAn online marketplace which provides customers with fresh and cooked food and also offers home delivery services(Nigeria)

TelecosysDelivers innovative software solutions for Tech-based service providers including Telecom operators, Internet Service Providers, Cloud-based service providers, and pay TV.(Egypt)

The Pearl Dream IncDigital Collection of African Stories for Kids and eCommerce retail site for animation inspired items(Kenya)

InstaCareMakes access to healthcare services as easy as visiting ATM by enabling real-time verification & authentication of beneficiary’s health insurance subscription and, reconciliation/settlement of bills & invoices between HMOs & healthcare providers.(Nigeria)

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Susan Mwenesi
Susan Mwenesi
Interested in business, technology and all things startups in Africa!

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