|Emerging entrepreneurs listen in on HopStop and GigaMeet founder Chinedu Echeruo at the Diaspora Demo Founders Forum in Washington D.C.|
Written by Mike Orie of TheConsciousTip.com
A group of African/African Americans are working diligently to make sure they're changing the conversation around startups centered on entrepreneurs in Africa and the African diaspora.
On Nov 10-12, tiphub Africa hosted its second annual Diaspora Demo Summit at various locations across Washington, DC. According to a press release sent over, tiphub Africa's Diaspora Demo Day, "Aimed at highlighted the best in innovation and social impact across the African Diaspora the event rallied 12 promising startups from 8 different countries for a startup showcase. Each of the startups participated in an 8-week accelerator designed to offer mentorship, guidance, expertise and advisory support as well as an in-person residency in Washington, DC at I/O Spaces. The accelerator was conducted in affiliation with sponsors and partners including South African Airways, AppsTech, Morgan Lewis, Sendgrid, FB Start, Amazon AWS, Stripe Atlas, and Afrinection."
The second annual event hosted workshops on topics ranging from “Advancing Innovation in Products, Processes, and Business Models for Startups in Developing Markets” to “Social Impact at Scale” to a diverse audience of founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and agency affiliates.
Since the closing of Diaspora Demo less than two weeks ago, 7 of the 12 featured companies have received investment inquires as a result of their pitches. Many of these same companies have also seen individual success including ScholarX, a platform to help students locate scholarships , who received funding from LDI Africa, Dechets a l'Or, a Guinea-based recycling startup, who won 10,000 in the Wharton Africa Business Forum Venture Competition. DC-based streaming service KweliTV not only won the #SheDemos pitch competition but a full year of office space from sponsor and community partner I/O Spaces. 5 of the participating Diaspora Demo companies will also be selected to go on an innovation and investor tour of Silicon Valley.
A 2015 report highlighted that Blacks and Latinos only make up approximately 4 to 5% of the tech workforce, with HP employing the most Blacks, equaling to about 15% of the time the study was conducted. The study comprised the top 235 major VC firms, aggregating data education and gender of the Black investors through LinkedIn. It is because of this, organizations such as Tiphub Africa are necessary for increasing the diversity of African/African Americans represented in the VC industry.
With the expansion of the Diaspora Demo Summit Tiphub Africa, the investment manager for startups in Africa and the African Diaspora, continues its commitment to supporting the next wave of African and African Diaspora focused startups. Post Demo Day tiphub plans to continue its empowerment of entrepreneurs both domestically and abroad with initiatives like the NewWave Code-a-thon partnership and recurring bi-monthly founders forums. You can find out more information about Tiphub Africa here. To sign up for next year's Diaspora Demo Day, click here.
Watch the video recap below.
Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie