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In a lead-up to the main event to be hosted in Morocco, DEMO Africa has been holding tours all over the continent to locate top up-and-coming techpreneurs in a bid to give them a chance to participate in the main event. The tours recently took the DEMO Africa team to North and South Africa.
What happened in South Africa
The South African innovation tour was held by DEMO Africa in partnership with Legazy. The tour saw a surprising turn of events as two teams qualified for the second round to compete for South Africa’s national spot. The amicably start-ups Get Hosted and Loyall came first in an event that took place at the Office Hub, Parkhurst Johannesburg.
“Having two teams tie after the second round is a clear indication that innovation in Africa is stepping up and we at DEMO Africa are more than pleased at the progress Africa is marking,” remarked Harry Hare of DEMO Africa. The other teams that participated were CommuScore, Afripav and You, Baby and I.
“Legazy is an agency that promotes African start-ups across the world, through sponsoring opportunities for them to compete, exhibit and overall tell the African innovation story. All start-ups that presented have proved that in Africa Innovation is the next big thing. It is, however, notable that most of these start-ups have flaws in presenting a sound revenue model and that is something they need to greatly work on,” commented Zuko Tisani as he gave advice to the teams that participated.
The innovation tour saw five innovative start-ups going head to head all in effort to secure first place. The panel of three judges—Lebo Gunguluza of Azzure Bank and South Africa’s Dragon Den investor, Kenneth Kayser Co-founder of the Barclays Rise Incubator and Zuko Tisani founder of Legazy, were all highly impressed by the competitiveness of present start-ups.
The two winners and the winners of the Capetown leg are joining the Zimbabwean national winner SMART Connect where the best start-up will be selected to represent the Southern African region.
What happened in North Africa
DEMO Africa in partnership with Technopark held its first Northern African innovation tour and team MOLDAIG are the pronounced winners of the Casablanca chapter. MOLDAIG is a healthtech startup that produces affordable diagnostic kits to detect diseases and viral infections.
A total of 13 teams showed up at the Technopark space all prepared to showcase their products in front of Khalid Machchate, Omar EL Hyani, Zineb Mazhar and Zouheir Lakhdissi who were the distinguished judges for the event. MOLDAIG emerged winners after a challenging second round finale where they battled it off against four other teams that had made it to the top five. The other finalists teams were Break, Nuppio learn, Interactive Rh and BIG4COM.
“With no doubt, the innovative products we have seen in Casablanca have set pace for all Northern innovation tours to follow and we are greatly looking forward to seeing startups in Tunis and Cairo pitch,” commented Khalid Machchate of DEMO Africa.
Elaborating on what they do MOLDAIG team leader Abdeladim Moumen said, “We are developing and producing molecular diagnostic kits for the detection and the quantification of several predominant diseases in Morocco and Africa such as infectious diseases and cancer. We are using highly innovative technologies that are simple, accurate, patented, clinically validated and mainly very cost-effective. Our tests will allow doctors to give the right treatment to their patients, to follow their treatment and to know exactly weather the treatment has been efficient or not.”
MOLDAIG will be up against winners from Tunis and Cairo (yet to be held) for the regional title which will see the winning start-up representing North Africa at the launch event to be held in Morocco on the 18th and 19th of October. The successful startups in each region will automatically qualify to be part of the pool of 30 where the successful Startups will be provided with resources worth over US$150,000 including US$120,000 software tools from Microsoft and USD$15 000 from AWS that to help them build and grow their businesses.
The successful startups in each region will automatically qualify to be part of the pool of 30 where the successful Startups will be provided with resources worth over US$150,000 including US$120,000 software tools from Microsoft and USD$15 000 from AWS that to help them build and grow their businesses.
Application for selection to the 2018 DEMO Africa cohort close on 15th July. Application is done online on the DEMOAfrica site at www.demo-africa.com