Microsoft set to host African Startups AI Fest

Microsoft announced the first African Startups AI Fest at GITEX Africa in Marrakech, Morocco earlier this week.
Spearheaded by the organisation’s Africa Transformation Office (ATO), the event promises to inspire and support startups to accelerate their journey to market with the right AI-powered tech solutions. The event, scheduled for 6 June 2024, takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, with virtual access available to attendees across the continent.
The African Startups AI Fest brings together founders, entrepreneurs, business decision-makers, engineers and developers in the startups space from across the continent. This inaugural event aims to showcase the transformative power of AI and how startups can use this revolutionary technology to drive innovation and take their ideas not only to local markets but a global stage.
“There is a need to provide startups on the continent with the resources to take their concepts from the drawing board to customers,” says Lillian Barnard, Microsoft Africa President. “From AI-enabled tech solutions to advanced digital skills, startups need to be given every opportunity to thrive in a highly competitive global market because they are the catalysts for job creation and economic growth in Africa.” Overcoming mounting economic pressures
Recent research from The African Tech Startups Funding Report found that funding for tech startups in Africa has declined after a highly successful 2022 when 633 tech startups raised over $3 billion in funding.
“In the face of a challenging economic climate, startups across Africa have demonstrated remarkable resilience,” Barnard says. “Despite the tough conditions, they have ignited a wave of innovation. Empowered with the right tech tools, startups can scale their solutions, enhance productivity, and drive growth. At Microsoft, we believe that technology, particularly the transformative power of AI, holds the key to a more empowered future in Africa.”
Attendees of the inaugural African Startups AI Fest will be introduced to startup success stories on the continent. In addition, Microsoft, its partners and customers will introduce and demonstrate how AI tools can be leveraged by entrepreneurs in ways that give their businesses the extra edge in a competitive landscape.
The organisation aims to reach 6 000 to 10000 of these businesses and provide them with customised support through the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub programmes.
Founders and entrepreneurs will be primed for growth through industry-specific webinars designed to help startups scale, pitch coaching sessions that will help investors enhance their pitching skills and navigate common challenges, investor community sessions that will connect startups with top investors from the Continental investor community to glean key insights on securing their first investments, integration with the Microsoft Independent Software Vendor programme and insights on how to best use AI technologies to propel their businesses forward.
Register for the African Startups AI Fest at by 5 June 2024. – Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Microsoft.