Thando's CEO Taffi Woolward Tables During the Expo Hall At Diaspora Demo Day 2015

Written by Mike Orie of

The largest celebration of African innovation outside of Africa is returning to DC this fall. Diaspora Demo Day is a showcase that aims to spotlight high impact tech ventures and social enterprises based in Africa and the African Diaspora. The event will be embedded in a 3-day summit set to include complimentary workshops and networking receptions at The US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC Nov 10-12.

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Selected startups will participate in an 6 week virtual accelerator in preparation of the showcase. Each contender will then pitch their concepts to an audience of 300+ angel, venture capitalists and impact investors, innovation enthusiasts, fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts and our esteemed panel of renowned judges for a chance to win an assortment of prizes as well as to collect invaluable insights to be used towards business enhancement and technical advancement.

A November 2015 article written by the IB Times reported that "even the most diverse Silicon Valley tech firms are at 2 percent or under in terms of blacks in technology jobs, yet across the U.S. blacks earned 4.4 percent of master’s degrees in engineering and 3.6 percent of its Ph.D.s in 2014." The same article also reported that nearly 5,500 African Americans in the U.S. earn engineering and computer science degrees, but yet struggle to find a job upon graduation. It is because of these challenges that the Diaspora Demo Day and companies like TipHub are needed.

AfriTrade CEO Chioma Achebe Pitches Mobile Investment Platform at Diaspora Demo Day

Last year, in its inaugural edition, Diaspora Demo Day, saw over 300 participants and 24 African and Diaspora-based companies. This year, for its second edition, the pitch competition has expanded to a larger series of events that celebrate entrepreneurship, innovation and success stories. "Diaspora Demo Day is a bold demonstration of both collaboration and innovation in Africa and the African Diaspora," says TipHub Executive Director, Chinedu Enekwe in a press release. "Diaspora Demo has proven itself to be the springboard and connection point for many fast growing and high impact startups, a track record TipHub intends to build upon."

Those interested in participating in Diaspora Demo Day must be 18 years or older with a technology enabled company based in, focused on or with one more founders from the continent of Africa, the African Diaspora or of African descent. The startups entering the competition must have been launched within the last 2 years,received external funding not exceeding $500,000 in US equivalent funding and must have a demonstrable product of service (Minimum Viable Product, MVP.) The Diaspora Demo Day is open to all applicants who meet the above qualifications until August 31st. You can find out additional information about this contest on their website here.

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 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

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