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DEMO Africa Reveals Africa’s 40 Best Tech Start-ups

DEMO has released the names of the forty start-ups that have qualified to launch their product on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.Topping the list is Nigeria with a total of 14 start-ups qualifying followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia will each have two representatives while Tunisia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe have earned their space at the DEMO Africa platform.

More than 400 hundred applications were received, but only 242 had met the threshold for the adjudication. Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana recorded the highest number of entries.

DEMO Africa Reveals Africa’s 40 Best Tech Start-upsOut of 12 categories for application, Communication attracted the highest number of applications with a total of 76 applications received, and it’s no wonder that this category will have the highest number of representation with 14 projects of the final forty being in this category. Finance and banking will also have a good representation of 8 out of 18 entries received. Other categories that will have high representation on the DEMO Africa stage include retail, health and education. Start-ups, however, shied away from Water & Sanitation, and Waste Management & Recycling. No entries were recorded for these two categories, an indication that stakeholder still have to work on entrepreneurs’ confidence to encourage homemade solutions across all sectors.

Commending the African entrepreneurs, the Nigeria Minister for Communication Technology, Honourable Mrs. Omobola Johnson, stressed that; “This presents another opportunity for African tech startups. Africa may have missed out on the industrial revolution, but we surely will not in the ICT revolution. Through innovation, we will put Nigeria and Africa in general on the ICT map. Realizing the huge potential of the software industry, we have put in place a set of initiatives that will assist the tech startups to create successful businesses, which will directly create jobs and wealth.

The DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare acknowledged the efforts by all the participating start-ups and called upon the investors to support the work of these young entrepreneurs. ”We had really amazing entries this year, but, unfortunately, the DEMO Africa team can only accommodate forty for now. The high number of entries is inspiring. It only shows that entrepreneurs have risen above the fear of venturing into new waters to create new products. This in itself shows that confidence levels in Africa made solutions are steadily rising. I am confident that we will get to levels where we can generate solutions that can be applied globally.”

VC4Africa Founder, Ben White, observed that the standard of applications continues to rise each year with Victor Okigbo one of the DEMO Africa’s jurists supporting him by commenting that the judges task to shortlist the final forty was not easy.

The application for this year’s DEMO Africa opened in March 2014 closing in June. The applications were then fine combed by a panel comprising top minds in business and tech leaders from across Africa. The criterion for adjudication was the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability.

DEMO Africa Reveals Africa’s 40 Best Tech Start-ups

The selected forty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. They will also benefit from one and a half month coaching and mentorship program to be spearheaded by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The Mentorship program will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.

As has been witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participants’ registration is already open on Eventbrite. The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp, as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found on this link.

The following are the 40 startups that made it to this year’s DEMO Africa Top 40 list:

Venture Name

1.Shamba Technologies from Tanzania
Design domestic power product for the 115 million families in Africa without power.

2.Mergims from Rwanda
An online platform that will enable African Immigrants, around the world, to pay tuition fees, airtime and utility bills for their loved ones back home, rather than sending money each month at a high cost.

3.Prepclass from Nigeria
Web technologies to ensure that relevant local contents such as past questions, class notes, flashcards are available to students on their digital devices.

4.SmartPesa from South Africa
Allows merchants to accept credit card payments using a mobile phone. Comprising a low cost card reader, App and server-side processing.

5.Kitiwa from Ghana
Kitiwa helps ordinary Africans send and receive money, cheaply, instantly, using bitcoin technology.

6.Cube from Egypt
Entity to accept card payments in person with their existing phone (even a basic phone), anywhere, anytime, real-time without the internet.

7.LocName from Egypt
A web and mobile application that enables people to find businesses easily using their LocNames.

8.TrafficBytes from Egypt
An end-to-end solution allows mobile operators and telecom vendors to leverage existing big data and provide real time accurate road traffic information.


9.Oradian from Nigeria
The cloud based core banking system for microfinance.



10. from Ghana
An online teaching and learning platform.



11. from Ghana
An online teaching and learning platform.


12.SokoNect from Kenya
Distribution channels of agricultural produce while facilitating fast trade between farmers and their prospective buyers.


13.IroFit from Nigeria
Develop mobile card payment system.


14.NiKweli from Tanzania
Employers and job seekers for lower skill, “blue collar” type positions. Job seekers register their standardized mini-CV through SMS.


Allows job seekers to get information about job vacancies and help employers to get the right candidate immediately.


16.Online Hisab from Ethiopia
A cloud-based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution.


17.PieRide from Egypt
A ridesharing technology platform offering monthly subscription transportation service for daily commuters.


18.Hutbay from Nigeria
A platform that helpts real estate consumers find and share vital information about real estate, mortgages and connect with real estate professionals in Nigeria.


19.VOTO Mobile from Ghana
Removes the barriers to insightful mobile communication between citizens worldwide and the organizations that serve them.


20.Pliby from Benin
An online platform for African music lovers.


21.Jifunza from Rwanda
App called Menya for creating and sharing fun educational lessons on African languages amongst your friends, students and the world.


22.SpellAfrica Initiative from Nigeria
An app which uses photos/images to inculcate English vocabulary in the minds and hearts of the users.


23.ASiM from Kenya
An integrated tool with Quickbooks and SAP Business One to produce rich, real-time business intelligence.


24.Feedbackplus from Nigeria
Organizations online or through a mobile app either on the spot as each event is taking place or later at each customer’s convenience.


25.SpacePointe from Nigeria
An e-commerce marketplace which focuses on the African retailer.


26.VIGO from South Africa
Entrepreneurs and business owners to create their own beautiful websites -any devices, including a feature phone.


27.Valuraha Group from Kenya
Enabling one to interact with various investment instruments, under actual market conditions, using virtual money.


28.Cribpark from Nigeria
About housing, catalogue of home designs to choose from, shop to buy their housing items and a project section to offer design and construction project.


29.Saisai from Zimbabwe
A wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hot-spots in public areas and public transportation.


30.Chura from Kenya
Allows interoperability between different mobile network in a multi-SIM environment.


31.Matibabu from Uganda
A phone application for early, non-invasive malaria diagnosis with a custom piece of hardware (Matiscope).


32.Paysail from Ghana
A simple way for businesses and accountant to better manage payroll.


33.Integrated Medics from Nigeria
A web based application package to computerize any large scale hospital, while putting into consideration the complexities involved in the medical industry.


34..Connect Finance from Nigeria
A software that allows companies to track their finances, create invoices, quotations, sales order, pay bills, payments etc.


35.MuZik from Cameroon
Subscriber’s life more easier by providing the right music or information, automatically grabbed on internet, for feature mobile phones.


36.What’slnTM from Tunisia
Mobile application platform service allows consumers with chemical allergies to instantly find the correct information when they scan a product UPC.


37.Foodstantly from Nigeria
An online marketplace which provides customers with fresh and cooked food and also offers home delivery services.


38.Telecosys from Egypt
Service providers including Telecome operators, Internet Service Providers, Cloud-based service providers and pay TV.


39.The Pearl Dream Inc. from Kenya
Digital Collection of African Stories for Kids and eCommerce retail site for animation inspired items.


40.InstaCare from Nigeria
ATM by enabling real-time verification & authentication of beneficiary’s health insurance subscription and reconciliation/settlement of bills & invoices between.

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the [email protected] partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

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About The Author

Innov8tiv is a dynamic Web source for technology news, resources and innovation, with a special focus on the entrepreneurial advances of Africans on the continent as well as in the Diaspora. This site seeks to not only inform consumers and companies about the latest in tech trends and ideologies, but to shed light on a phenomenon often ignored: the inventive, life-changing and creative engine that exists in Africa and among leaders of color around the world, including the UK, the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia. Send story ideas to [email protected]