Africa constitutes 6% of internet users who are ready and willing to explore the world. Undeveloped startup community, lack of serenity and poor Government support are some of the major problems facing startups. The question is where will you launch in Africa? The success of mimiboard which was launched at mobile Web East Africa conference a few months ago depicts a lot about the startup community in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and Egypt who are the top internet users in Africa.
Why this countries? Why launch at mobile web East Africa? The startup community has been developed with infrastructure that provides fertile grounds to grow business. Many incubation centers have been built, tech competitions are there, and there are good and performing universities that produce developers and the governments’ initiatives to boost creativity and innovation.
There are major and key events that take place in the continent that can be timed and used to launch a startup for marketing and penetration aspect. A few days ago we had Pivot East which attracted who is who in the tech industry around East Africa. Mobile Web East Africa Conference which propelled Mimiboard, founded by Johan of Umuntu media, IT leaders summit Africa, a gathering for IT and business executives across all industries in Africa. The Summit provides an opportunity to debate and interact with like-minded individuals in an exclusive and energizing business atmosphere.
Broadband Mea Conference, AfricaCon which was in Cape Town South Africa last year attracted more than 5000 tech and entrepreneurs around the continent. IT news Africa Innovation Dinner is a bi-monthly event designed for senior ICT executives. The event is great for networking, acquiring information and strategic planning. Once every two months, industry players meet in an intimate, relaxed environment, savouring good food and wine as they build new relationships and promote their organizations.
The next biggest event is Demo Africa. DEMO, the Launchpad for emerging technologies and trends, is for the very first time coming to Africa. DEMO is an efficient platform that connects the global technology ecosystem online and offline, providing exposure and value for each DEMO constituent. Each year over 2,500 people from around the globe attend DEMO to experience innovation at its birth.
At each DEMO event, hand-selected classes of new products are introduced to the world for the very first time to a global press and prolific bloggers, investors, inventors, corporate acquirers, strategic partners and buyers.
CIO East Africa, LIONS@FRICA and DEMO are launching DEMO Africa 2012, which will be held on 24–26 October 2012 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya.
CIO East Africa’s CIO100 Annual Awards is another innovation event which will be held in November this year. This event aims at celebrating 100 organizations (and the people within them) that are using information technology in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers.
There are more other small tech events like startup weekends, Google bootcamp, JKUAT Tech Expo, Garage48, and VC4africa meet-up events.
With all these events taking place in the continent, it’s a challenge to all developers and tech entrepreneurs to test, build and market their launch timely. These events matter a lot for us in Africa just like SXSW in Silicon Valley, Techcrunch Disrupt, Leweb which will be in London soon and many other events.
These events also help in marketing, meeting potential investors, hiring talents and media attention. Together we can build Africa to greater heights.
By Okii Eli