A total of 131 startups have been selected in the first adjudication round of DEMO Africa, one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica and described as the “launchpad for emerging technology and trends”.
The 131 startups were selected from over 723 applications that were received. The applications were received from 46 countries – last year’s event saw applications from 26 countries.
The highest number of applications came from Nigeria (217) with Kenya (154) and South Africa (104) coming second and third respectively.
23 applications were received from Uganda, 17 from Cameroon, 16 from Ghana, 14 from Zimbabwe, 12 from Egypt and Tanzania, 8 from Ivory Coast, 7 from Ethiopia, and 6 from Zambia and Rwanda.
African entrepreneurs overseas applied too. 15 applications were received from the US while 4 entrepreneurs applied from Belgium.
Applications were also received from other countries outside Africa and these include the United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, South Korea, Costa Rica and Afghanistan.
“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.
The next adjudication round will see the 131 companies pruned downto 50 and finally 30. The 30 startups will then launch their products at the DEMO Africa platform in Johannesburg, South Africa on 25 & 26 August, 2016.
“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,” said Mr. Mbugua Njihia, Event Director, DEMO Africa.
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.