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Microsoft joins forces with Lions@frica to empower African Startups at DEMO Africa

The engagement forms part of 4Afrika's commitment to empowering local African technology start-ups, by providing them with access to venture creation resources.

Microsoft 4Afrika uses DEMO Africa as a platform to identify and recruit high-potential start-ups into its own investment network”
— Tarik Hilali

PALO ALTO, CA, UNITED STATES, September 27, 2018 / -- For the 7th edition of DEMO Africa, Microsoft continues a leading role as a key sponsor and partner for the 2018 edition of DEMO Africa to be held in Casablanca, Morocco on October 18–19, and is teaming up with the Lions@frica initiative of the African Technology Foundation to empower the 30 African startup finalists with a variety of venture creation and technology support services.

Since launching in 2013, Microsoft 4Afrika has brought over 700,000 small businesses online, given financing to 64 local start-ups, and 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 start-ups have since gone on to generate over $5.1 million in reciprocal funding.

Accoriding 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 is actively empowering SMEs and start-ups 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 will comprise of the following elements:

The DEMO Main Stage - Over 2 days of engagement, all of the 30 startup finalists will get six minutes to pitch and demonstrate their products to the general audience and an expert panel of judges for feedback and queries. 
The DEMO Pit - Event attendees, technology buyers and the media will get an opportunity to meet the DEMO Africa startups at their individual booths which will be located at the DEMO Pit.
The Ecosystem Enabler Series - Through a combination of keynotes, panels and fireside chats, the Ecosystem Enabler Series will enable productive dialogue between industry leaders and innovation actors about the future of the African technology ecosystem.
The Investor Round-table - In partnership with the African Business Angels Network we will convene an Investor Round-table to evaluate the current African investment and venture creation landscape and share best practices.
Workshops and Masterclasses - We will host a number of workshops and masterclasses across the venture creation value chain.
The LIONS@frica Innovation Awards - Five (5) Startups will be chosen as winners of the DEMO Africa and will proceed to Silicon Valley, California for the Lions Innovation Tour.

The Microsoft4Afrika team will also participate in the Lions@frica Bootcamp and Workshop programs as part of the Pre-DEMO Africa activities. Team leads and subject matter experts from a diverse array of Microsoft Business divisions will join the the Lions@frica Bootcamp team to deliver a robust training curriculum that will support all the 30 finalists through various levels of venture creation.

Join Microsoft and the 4Afrika team at DEMO Africa in Casablanca, Morocco - Register here:

Harry Hare
DEMO Africa
email us here

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