TechInAfrica — The 7th edition of DEMO Africa will be held in Casablanca, Morocco in October 2018. This two-day annual event will be attended by leading venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and other countries. The programs including pitches from the selected finalists and pre-show activities around the Angel Investor Summit.
These leading venture capitalists join the event to explore investment opportunities, widen knowledge of the African start-up ecosystems, and share best practices on global venture creation.
The event is mainly sponsored by Microsoft 4Afrika and Accenture. The event will include the Ecosystem Enabler Series, a program where it is a combination of keynotes, panels, and firesides chats that drives a productive discussion between industry leaders and innovation actors about the future of African technology ecosystem; the Investor Round-tables and Angel Investor Summit, a meeting of a niche group of angel investors within Africa and the global venture capital community; the Alpha Pitches—a program in partnership with Le Wagon, Casablanca—and the Lions@frica Innovation Awards, a program to select five start-up winners of the DEMO Africa that will later proceed to Silicon Valley, California to join Lions Innovation Tour.
The 2018 edition of DEMO Africa will also be attended by Silicon Valley investors who are passionate about the African technology ecosystems and the innovative African entrepreneurs in order to scale global ventures. These investors from Silicon Valley have an outstanding track record of supporting start-ups in the Valley and in Africa to grow bigger. Furthermore, they also are excited to share their experience with their colleagues in Africa.
The Head of Early Stage of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Claire Lee will be a keynote speaker of the event. She will deliver the opening keynote at the Studio Des Arts Vivants. Speaking of Silicon Valley Bank, it is a leading bank in financing the growth of technology startups globally, and is positioned in the innovation ecosystem, as well as working with the best VC-backed startups, corporates and VC and PE firms.
Claire Lee joined Silicon Valley Bank in 2014. She started from Microsoft and spent about 10 years building out programs and initiative to support early-stage startups, working thoroughly with their incubator partners, investing in, and supporting them. Moreover, she has strong experience in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. She helps to support an international development through partnerships.
She is one of the founding members of Lions@frica and DEMO Africa, as well as a long-time advisor to the Global Partnerships office at the U.S Department of State. Through her deep experiences, she brought DEMO to Africa in 2012. She keeps continuing her support on the event even after six years later. Claire visited Nairobi in 2015 to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit with President Obama and senior members of the administration including Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker. The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) played a big role in supporting the GES 2016 event at Stanford University which was attended by over 700 start-ups from 150 countries.
Commenting on the 2018 of DEMO Africa, Claire states: “Attending events like these helps me learn so much about entrepreneurship globally – it takes me outside of the ‘bubble’ and outside my comfort zone. Hearing from early stage founders in nascent, growing markets is something we always benefit from. Global perspectives are important.”
Jennifer Richards, a Senior Associate from Cross Culture Ventures, is getting back to Morocco after her last visit in 2012 during her time in France. She is a bilingual and incredibly talented venture builder. She works hard to support the women entrepreneurs in the DEMO Africa, promoting the bridge-building efforts between Silicon Valley and Africa.
Riad Hartani from Padovani Ventures, an Algerian descent, and bi-coastal venture capitalist will also be showcasing the regional venture networks in North Africa and highlighting the great opportunities in the region. Padovani Ventures operations are located in Silicon Valley and Algeria that specializes in the development of the Internet, Mobile and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies which mostly are outside of the Silicon Valley as a hub, building and supporting some of leading technology startups, giving advice on strategic investments and rolling out innovative technologies worldwide.
Sydney Thomas from Precursor VC, an Investment Associate, and Head of Operations will also attend the DEMO Africa network to look for opportunities in Africa. Precursor VC is an early-stage venture capital firm that is focused on investing in the first institutional round of the investment for the most promising software and hardware companies. Sydney is excited about interacting with the African ecosystems.
“We are thrilled to welcome these global players to Casablanca, Morocco as part of the DEMO Africa conference. We are confident at that out North African ecosystem leaders will prove to be worthy hosts of our global partners and venture stakeholders.” Says Stephen Ozoigbo, the Managing Partner of Lions@frica initiative.
The event will also be attended by notable angel groups, VC firms, and banks, including IDF Capital, Lions@frica, Wamda Capital, Lagos Angel Networks, Convergence Partners, African Business Angel Network, Maroc Numeric Fund, Outlierz Ventures, HSeven, StartupBRICS, UK Business Angels Association, Sawari Ventures, Blackbox.vc, IFU, Orange, Energy Access Ventures, Nailab, Flat6Labs, TechWadi, Reenging Ventures, GSMA Africa, and Algebra Ventures.
For those who have a VIP Pass are required to attend the Angel Investor Summit and Investor Round-tables.