Free public WiFi access provider Saisai Wireless has been selected as one of the 40 finalists from across Africa to pitch at this year’s DEMO Africa event. This will be the sole startup representing Zimbabwe.
Saisai Wireless was founded by a team that includes Christopher Alexander Manzero, Jabulani Mpofu and Takura Chingonzo. These are some of the guys behind Neolab Technology. Saisai is a wireless mesh network made up of free access WiFi hot-spots in public areas and public transportation like kombis.
After identifying companies with unexploited bandwidth the Saisai team then installs a device onto the company’s network which connects to the rest of the wireless mesh, providing users with free internet access on the go. The service makes revenue through targeted advertising on the platform.
The list of the 40 finalists for DEMO Africa was announced earlier today and it represents the startups chosen from more than 400 applications that were submitted in the lengthy process leading up to the event. This process included the DEMO Africa Innovation tour that passed through Zimbabwe in May this year.
According to an article on the VC4Africa blog the 400 were trimmed down to a short list of 242 which provided a pool for the selection of the final 40. The startups are providing solutions in varied fields including Agriculture, Health, Education,Communication, Manufacturing, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Transport and Logistics, Energy, Finance & Banking, Waste Management & Recycling and Water & Sanitation.
DEMO Africa will be held between 22 and 26 September in Lagos Nigeria, with pitches from the finalists being made on the 25th and 26th. The event is not a competition but a startup showcase that brings together startup solutions and facilitators of growth.
The DEMO Africa audience is comprised of entrepreneurs, potential investors, regional and international media, strategic buyers, startup enthusiasts and corporate executives. This presents a launchpad opportunity for finalists that are in a position to walk away with partnerships for expansion and the scaling of their ideas.
Of the 40 finalists for this year’s DEMO Africa Nigeria has the highest representation with 14 finalists followed by Kenya with 5 representatives and Egypt with 4 representatives. South Africa, Rwanda,Ethiopia and Tanzania, and have two representatives each.