African technology startups, mPawa, Maliyo Games, Flowgear, Qabila and Sasa Africa have emerged winners of the inaugural edition of DEMO Africa. The five winning startups will be headed to Silicon Valley next year for mentorship and to pitch their startups to investors in the world’s startup capital.
More than 42 pitches were delivered at the event which was held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). DEMO, an annual event held across 5 continents made its debut on the continent this year. Congratulations to the winners.
Check out their profiles below via CIO
mPawa is based in Accra, Ghana and co-founded by Maxwell Kofi Efrem Donkor, Anthony Agyekum-Mensah, Nancy Neizer and Shadrack Boadu. The startup seeks to solve Africa’s jobless problem by focussing on the informal sector, which is the biggest employer in Africa. mPawa lists informal jobs such as carpenter’s on a portal where those who need such skills can find people to carry out their tasks. Maxwell says mPawa has already matched 2,000 job seekers in the previous 3 months, has raised $90,000 is looking to raise $100,000. (http://mpawa.com/https://twitter.com/mpawa_africa )
Flowgear, from Gauteng, South Africa was among the few startups targeted squarely at the Enterprise. Co-founded by Daniel Chilcott and JJ Milner, the startup is looking to exploit a $2.79 billion opportunity (Gartner, 2011) in the Cloud integration sector . Chilcott says the startup provides cloud management tools for firms allowing them to interconnect the different cloud solutions they have deployed, such Salesforce and SharePoint. Flowgear provides a codeless dashboard which allows a fast deployment. Drawings can also be imported from Visio and implemented in Flowgear. The SnapLogic competitor says its has received $ 200,000 funding to date. (http://flowgear.nethttps://twitter.com/flowgear )
Qabila is a multimedia content crowdsourcing platform based in Cairo, Egypt and co-founded by Mahmoud Elshafie, Perihan AbouZeid, Mostafa Saeed, Amar Abu Shady and Ahmad Fatehlab. Perihan says that Qabila came about as a platform to provide better content than what was been shown on Egyptian TV. The platform was founded almost around the Egyptian Arab spring and rose in popularity with the spring with their content being featured in Al Jazeera. Qabila currently has 20,000 contributors and current clients include the World Bank, UNESCO and UNDP. The startup has funded itself to date and is looking for an additional $250,000 in funding.
(http://qabila.tv https://twitter.com/QabilaTv )
Sasa Africa is an ecommerce platform connecting offline craftsperson to online consumers. Through the use of a mobile phone, craftspeople upload their products through SMS and MMS. Consumers then find the various crafts on sasaafrica.com. After a product is bought and paid for, a crafts person then receives a text message. They then have 48 hours to take the product to a mobile money kiosk where they are also able to collect their payments. The startup currently retails jewellery.
Sasa Africa has so far been in testing and plans to launch in the coming week. Based in Nairobi, Kenya and founded by Ella Peinovich, Catherine Mahugu and Gwendolyn Floyd, the startup predicts to have 600 retailers by end year and 3500 products. Sasa Africa has raised $125,000 through grants and prizes and is looking at raising $500,000. SasaAfrica target is 84 percent of women in Sub Saharan Africa which it says work in the informal sector hoping to serve 100,000 artisans by 2015. (http://sasaafrica.com http://twitter.com/SasaAfrica )
Maliyo Games was the only gaming entrant in DEMO Africa. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluseye Soyode-Johnson says that Africans are in need of locally relevant multimedia content. This he says is evident from the multi-million dollar film and song industry in Nigeria. He therefore believes that a casual gaming platform providing African themed games on mobile and PC has lots of potential. Amongst such games is the “mosquito smasher” game where players thump mosquitos across various levels, each with its own theme. A social impact aspect in the game is a multi choice quiz on mosquitos and malaria in between each level. Maliyo games says the casual gaming industry is worth $20 billion. The startup is seeking $300,000 in funding. (http://www.maliyo.com/ https://twitter.com/maliyogames )