Nigeria had the highest number of applications on the 2016 DEMO Africa shortlist with 217 out of the 723 applications that were submitted from 46 countries.
Nigeria was followed by Kenya at 154 and South Africa at 104 while Uganda had 23 applications, Cameroon 17, Ghana 16, Zimbabwe 14, Egypt and Tanzania 12, Ivory Coast 8, Ethiopia 7, Zambia and Rwanda submitted 6 applications each.
This year, DEMO Africa also attracted participation of African diaspora entrepreneurs with those in the US topping the list at 15 applications and Belgium 4. Applications were also received from other countries outside Africa and these include the United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, South Korea, Costa Rica and Afghanistan.
Out of the 723, DEMO Africa 2016 has short listed a total of 131 startups during its first round of adjudication.
“We are very excited at the response we received from the startups and startup owners. This goes to show how DEMO Africa is becoming a critical piece of the entrepreneurship development agenda in the continent,” said Mr. Harry Hare, Executive Director, DEMO Africa.
This year’s 46 countries is a more than 30% increase from last year’s event which had attracted 26 countries.
“In the past four years, we have been reaching more people and more countries year on year, spreading the entrepreneurship spirit throughout the continent,” Mr. Hare continued.
Out of the 131 companies the judges will have to narrow down and identify only 30 companies who will then launch their products at the DEMO Africa platform in Johannesburg, South Africa on 25th and 26th August.
Twelve judges from across the continent are currently reviewing the applications and will later short list 50 startups that will then go into the next round of adjudication.
Speaking on the same, Mr. Mbugua Njihia, Event Director, DEMO Africa said, “We have developed a 3 tier adjudication process that makes sure we have the companies with the highest potential to have the opportunity to launch their business and products at the DEMO Africa platform.”
The adjudication process will continue until the end of June and the announcement of the final 30 is expected in the first week of July.