DEMO Africa kicks off in Kenya’s capital

Africa’s first DEMO event, running in Nairobi, Kenya at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) until October 26, kicked off today.

Day one saw over 40 startups from more than 16 African countries converge at the conference centre and begin rehearsals for the main event set for official opening tomorrow.

During a press briefing, the event’s organisers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the event is a success in not only exposing the African startups to the world but also ensuring that they grow into high value companies in the next five years.

The partnership, dubbed Liberalizing Innovations Opportunity Nations ([email protected]), consists of different organizations including Microsoft, Nokia, DEMO USA, Africa Development Bank and the U.S. Department of state.

Thomas Debass, Director of Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State said: “Holding this first DEMO Africa event in Kenya was the most prudent decision, considering Nairobi is the hub of innovation in Africa.”

He added that: “Our partnership is for a long term commitment in Africa to ensure African startups get the recognition they deserve in the global market.”

Harry Hare, DEMO Africa organiser said: “The biggest challenge facing African startups is taking their wonderful innovations to the market. LIONS partnership intends to provide systems that will ensure that these innovations reach the market on a large scale.”

According to the event organisers, DEMO Africa will be looking for solutions that not only solve Africa’s problems but also those of the world as a whole. They will also be looking at startups with a global reach, whose ideas can be scaled to the next level.

“Our Vision (LIONS) is to make DEMO Africa a platform for companies from all over the world to come to Africa and witness the growth, and also take Africa to the world,” Neil Silverman, DEMO USA said.

Some 50 percent of the DEMO Africa 40 startups are reportedly in mobile services, indicating the huge potential in Africa’s mobile market waiting to be explored.

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