Silicon Valley Bank Head of Early Stage Ventures to Deliver Keynote at DEMO Africa


Silicon Valley trailblazer and Head of Early Stage Ventures at Silicon Valley Bank, Ms. Claire Lee will deliver the first keynote at the DEMO Africa conference and offer her perspectives on Connecting African Innovation to the World.

Claire joined SVB in January 2014 from Microsoft where she spent a decade building out programs and initiatives to better support early stage startups, working closely with the partners that incubate, invest in and support them. Claire has a deep experience in Europe, Middle East and Africa and a commitment to support international development through partnerships. As a founding member of [email protected] and DEMO Africa, and a long-time advisor to the Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, Claire was instrumental in bringing DEMO to Africa in 2012 thanks to the leadership of Secretary Clinton – and continues to support this event six years later.

Outside of running the early stage practice at SVB, Claire is an active advisor, mentor and speaker. She is a thought leader on issues such as entrepreneurship, education, inclusion and international development.

DEMO Africa 2018 edition will hold in Casablanca Morocco from October 18-19, 2018. Apart from Lee, one of Africa’s leading technology investors and Chairman of Convergence Partners, Dr. Andile Ngcaba will deliver the second keynote.

Dr. Ngcaba will deliver an Investment Address on Bridging Africa and Silicon Valley through Venture, and provide insights on the leading trends that will fuel African economies through technology and entrepreneurship. An astute investor in Africa’s technology future, Dr. Ngcaba is involved in significant new communications infrastructure projects across Africa including Seacom (the first undersea fibre optic cable system serving Africa’s East Coast) which was ready for service on 23 July 2009, the first private sector satellite in Africa (Intelsat New Dawn) which was launched on 22 April 2011, a joint venture to bring high capacity, long-haul terrestrial fibre to South Africa (FibreCo) and recently a new joint venture with Google to invest in CSquared, a broadband infrastructure company headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.His passion for social development and desire for innovation in the ICT sector, especially on the African continent, is evident in the work he does.

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Dr. Ngcaba recently worked in partnership with Comsol and Samsung to launch South Africa’s first 5G Network in Soweto.

The event will also include a stellar lineup of Panel Speakers and Startup Judges that will participate in the Ecosystem Enabler Series and provide thought leadership, feedback and guidance on various aspects of venture creation, ecosystem development, cutting edge technology resources and policy best practices.

Sam Gichuru of Nailab and Niama El-Bassunie, CEO of Waystocap will deliver their keynotes on day two. See agenda here.