DEMO Africa Investor Roundtable, Cape Town 2012

As we start the count down to the first DEMO event to be hosted on the continent and which will see 40 African startups launch their products, DEMO Africa embarked on a roadshow to learn from, and better understand the needs and issues facing local investors.

On 24 – 26 October, 11 South African startups will get an opportunity to wow local, African and international investors and media with their innovative tech solutions.

It was thus fitting that Harry Hare, Executive Producer of DEMO Africa, returned to Cape Town to speak with a select group of local investors to understand where they see opportunities and hurdles for Africa to grow its own investment in technology.

The DEMO Africa Investor Roundtable was sponsored by mLab Southern Africa and The Bandwidth Barn and offered a balanced panel of investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to openly discuss the current issues faced by both parties as well as how to revolutionize the way we think about and implement funding in both South Africa and across the continent.


Some of the topics covered included:

A better understanding of where government, incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capital and private investors currently fit into the ecosystem and where there could be better collaboration.

An unhealthy startup ecosystem where entrepreneurs don’t always respect the value of investments made in them and the rise of “lifestyle entrepreneurs” that could hinder sustainable investment in the long run.

The role local investors and funds can play in providing guidance and management of international investment into Africa.

Understanding the mandate of investors to invest outside of their local markets.

The role and responsibilities that incubators and accelerators have towards both their startups and potential investors to properly train, mentor and filter entrepreneurs to provide investment opportunities and a deal flow that has real value, and higher quality.

Startup exit strategies vs. building long-term sustainable businesses.

We would like to give special thanks to our panel for making the time in their busy schedules to participate in this important discussion.

Panel: Andrea Bohmert (Knifecapital, Anglehub), Derrick Kotze (mLab Southern Africa), Eric Edelstein (Global Sunset Investments and founder Evly), Harry Hare (DEMO Africa), Jennifer Browarczyk (, Keet van Zy l (Knifecapital, Anglehub), Mixo Ngoveni (Founder, Rudi Hofmeister (Founder Dotjam), Stuart Gast (Invenfin), Tim Bishop (Founder Prezence SA).