AUDIO INTERVIEW: DEMO Africa Director on Innovation and Investment in Africa
Submitted by IQ4News on Tue, 23/10/2012 - 4:39pm
By Yemisi Akinbobola
In my interview with the Director of DEMO Africa, Harry Hare, he speaks to me about support available to innovative start-ups in Africa, and why there is an increasing focus on technology in the continent.
Throughout its 21 years of existence, DEMO has earned a reputation for consistently identifying new innovations that are most likely to disrupt the markets they serve and/or change the way we use technology overall, now DEMO Africa will invite companies from throughout the continent to launch on the DEMO stage.
The two and a half day conference to be held on October 24th – 26th in Nairobi, Kenya, will provide a platform for start-ups from across Africa to pitch for growth capital and strategic partnerships, with the aim of developing the companies' capacity to compete with tech start-ups across the globe.
“Cumulatively, the nominees are looking to raise over $66,280,000. This event firmly demonstrates that Africa is the next frontier on all economic facets. We are seeing a renewed energy even in the invention of technological infrastructure, initiatives that we are keen to nurture,” Harry said.
According to 2009 DEMO demonstrator research study conducted by BluePoint Ventures, in the past 20 years, 22% of past demonstrators received funding within 60 days as a direct result of a DEMO launch. 92% who secured funding, did so within 9 months of DEMO, whereas 62% received over $1 million in funding - mostly from venture capital funds and angel investors.
“We have seen unprecedented acquisition with the global chapter where more than 50 demonstrating companies were acquired in the last four years alone. Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Symantec, HP, SAP and Yahoo! have all been to DEMO more than once, acquiring multiple DEMO companies,” Harry noted.
He added that in just the past five years, DEMO companies have raised over $4.5 billion dollars in the months/years following their debut at DEMO.