Diaspora Demo Experience is the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, startups, VCs, investors, and more. This year, the event will be held as a three-day summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
The event organizers have announced that applications are being accepted for startups to participate in an accelerator program and pitch competition. Selected startups will participate in a six-week virtual accelerator, in preparation of the showcase. They will then pitch their concepts to an audience of over 300 angel, VC, and impact investors. Winners will receive an assortment of prizes and guidance on advancing their startups.
According to the Diaspora Demo Experience website, Diaspora Demo Pitch applications are open anyone that is 18 years or older “with a technology-enabled company based in, focused on, or with one or more founders from the continent of Africa, the African Diaspora, or of African descent. Applicants may only submit one application per year.”
Likewise, the site outlines the following guidelines that startups must meet:
- The startup must have launched within the last two years.
- If the startup has received external funding, it can only be up to USD $0.5 m.
- The startup must have a demonstrable product or service (minimum viable product, MVP).
- The founders of the startup must be prepared to champion their company and its impact on stage.
- The founders of the startup also must be willing and able to obtain a U.S. Visa.
- Pitch and application documents must be in English, or you must provide a translation.
The site also states, “Startups in the following sectors are strongly encouraged to apply (all will be considered): Health, Education/Job Preparedness, Smart Energy, Logistics, Fintech, Agritech, or enabling marketplaces.”
In addition to the activity and events for startups, the Diaspora Demo Experience will feature an African music concert, a community hackathon, and a number of private investor dinners.