Microsoft has teamed up with the Lions@frica initiative of the African Technology Foundation to empower the startups finalists that will be pitching at DEMO Africa 2018. Microsoft will provide the finalists with a variety of venture creation and technology support services through its Microsoft 4Afrika program.
Since launching in 2013, Microsoft 4Afrika has brought over 700,000 small businesses online and given financing to 64 local startups. It has also offered direct mentorship and technical support to over 100 start-ups across the continent – creating a ripple effect of employment growth and skills acquisition. These supported startups have since gone on to generate over $5.1 million in reciprocal funding.
According to Tarik Hilali, African Startup Lead at Microsoft, “In addition to speaking sessions, hosting hands-on workshops for finalists, and providing technical and financial support for the conference, Microsoft 4Afrika also uses DEMO Africa as a platform to identify and recruit high-potential start-ups into its own investment network.”
”Microsoft 4Afrika uses DEMO Africa as a platform to identify and recruit high- potential start-ups into its own investment network” Tarik added.
Microsoft 4Afrika is actively empowering SMEs and startups in Africa to digitally transform, ensuring they are more profitable, sustainable, scalable and competitive. 4Afrika also partners with accelerators, innovation hubs, SME enablers and other organizations in the start-up ecosystem, to ensure start-ups are given best-in-class offerings and the most fertile ground for success. For the 2018 edition of the Lions Innovation Tour in Silicon Valley, Microsoft also sponsored five additional African Startups to join the winners of DEMO Africa 2017 and enjoy the acceleration activities in Silicon Valley.
The 2018 edition of DEMO Africa to be held in Casablanca, Morocco on October 18 to 19. Five finalists will be selected from the 30 pitching startups to participate in the 2019 edition of the Lions@frica Innovation Tour in Silicon Valley. These DEMO Ambassadors will be the startups that show the highest potential for scaling across Pan-African and international markets, with a mature understanding of their product-market fit, a great team, and a defensible and commercially viable technology.
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