Last week was Global Entrepreneurship Week but the whole month is dedicated to entrepreneurship over on the Afri-love blog. Along with inspiring stories and useful resources for your business/project/idea, there's also a contest running. Nominate your favourite entrepreneur to be featured in a dedicated interview-post. You can nominate someone or yourself here.
Google is rewarding you with $25,000 for sharing your inspiring story of how the web and Google have played a pivotal role in transforming your life. Open to people living in Africa, the five most inspiring stories will each receive the $25,000 cash prize, as well as expert assistance from the Google team on how to be even more successful. Visit their website and share your tale.
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is an event that brings together programmers, developers, marketers, designers, startup enthusiasts among other diverse groups, to form groups and develop viable business ideas in 54 hours. It is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds- the other half have business backgrounds.
Startup Weekend is an NGO based in San Francisco, US, and has so far organized startup 500+ events in 110 countries and 120 cities.
Startup Weekend Nairobi
Startup Weekend Nairobi will look to not only bring together technology entrepreneurs, but also individuals from sectors such as agriculture, education, communication, among others.
Startup Weekend Nairobi will be held on November 22nd -24th, 2013, and will offer exciting prizes for the winners of the challenge.
The 3-day event will be held at the Strathmore University @iLabAfrica, which is on the 5th floor of Strathmore University Student center, Ole Sangale road.
Asilia is all about creating products and offering services that empower you to make things happen. Asilia loves working with passionate, visionary people and supporting them in establishing and/or growing their ideas, projects, brands and businesses.
Asilia would like to understand the areas it can offer trainning and assistance and would love to know what aspects of branding, design and digital marketing you're struggling with most. What you want to learn, understand and make a solid action plan for. We would appreciate if you would spare 5 minutes to complete a survey. Follow this link to survey.
The inaugural DEMO Africa event took place last October 24-26, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. It provided a platform for 40 of the most innovative technology products from companies across the African continent with the opportunity to launch before a global audience of investors, media, strategic buyers, C-level executives and other entrepreneurs. This was the first time ever that a DEMO event was hosted on the African soil. It is estimated that the DEMO Africa class of 2012 has already raised more than US$8 million in investments, business deals and/or partnerships less than a year after their launch.
This is a MUST attend event for Investors (Venture and Angel), CIOs, CEOs, Entreprenuers and Tech Media looking for the "next big thing" from Africa".
Sondeka fest is Kenya's 1st annual creative festival which serves as a platform for numerous events, activities, exhibitions that showcase Kenya's creative industry and promote Kenya as Africa's center for creativity and investment opportunities.
The festival shall enable creative entrepreneurs to sell goods and services, attract investment, develop new markets and showcase new and emerging talent.
The event shall take place at the Green House Mall on Ngong Road on 29th, 30th November-1st December.
It shall bring together the public, creatives, tourists and other stakeholders in the creative industry.
The main attraction is the competition between 5 teams of creatives that shall have 50hrs to create pieces and presentations that meet the brief and promote the theme ''Kenya at 50 and beyond''.
This will be done using re-usable materials such as biottles,fabric,stones,wood,metal and other tools required to make the items.
More than two years ago, Afriapps predicted Ghana's emergence as a major force in commercial app development. Looking back, there is no doubt we were on to something. Below we re-post the original article posted on 3rd June 2011. Were we right? Let us know your thoughts.
At Asilia, Lulu and I have made it a principle to religiously devote time to pursue internal and personal projects. So Lulu has her Afri-love (a personal project) and I started and manage Afriapps (a platform showcasing apps from and for Africa), under the Asilia umbrella.
Afriapps has been live since November last year and in that time we have profiled over 60 African applications. In the process, I've noticed a trend that has me really excited – the emergence of Ghana as a promising place to watch for creative and exciting app development.
Five reasons why Ghana has got me buzzing:
1.Built to be sold
Economic development in sub-Saharan Africa has often been about aid and grants and sadly, in app development in some parts, this is still the case. It is reflected in the type of apps developed, how they are marketed and how they are funded. Ghanian developers seem to be bucking the trend by producing a stream of apps that are not to be sustained by aid but by paying clients or paid downloads. Cool apps that we have profiled and that I've actually bought include:
- Basic Swahili - Learn Swahili on your iPhone or iPad
- iWarrior - Defend your village from wild animals
- My Twi Name - Find out your Twi name
- Nkyea Twi Phrasebook - Learn Twi on your iPhone or iPad
2. Quality finishing
Often on Afriapps we see apps based on very good ideas and built well but, let down by unrefined finishing and design. Like everywhere else in the world, Ghana has its fair share of these but, where Ghanian apps stand out is in the high number of apps with quality finishing and design. One of the things that makes African apps globally uncompetitive is design and finishing and many Ghanian apps seem to be getting these aspects right.
3. Diversity of ideas and talent
Tied in with the concept of building them to sell them is the development of a variety of types of apps. Games, business apps, learning apps, eCommerce apps, etc. This diversity would be hard to achieve if the industry was mainly dependent on aid as donors often have a narrow band of sectors they see as worth funding.
4. Building an eco-system
One area that really excites me about Ghana is the various genuine efforts to develop a sustainable tech eco-system. One such effort is that of The Meltwater Group, an established software company from the US. It has setup the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) through its Meltwater Foundation to offer training and mentoring to software entrepreneurs in Ghana. The program has led to the successful launch of a string of startups, each very promising. Some examples include:
- Retail Tower - helps independent online shops have their products listed on comparison engines
- Gripeline - Enables businesses to manage their customer support and feedback
- Tutamee - a place to ask and find out what or who is best
5. Not loud but should be proud
Frankly speaking, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria seem to get most of the press when it comes to African tech. However, amidst all the noise, Ghana is steadily laying solid foundations that will enable them to compete internationally. And from articles such as these, it is obvious others are starting to notice.
Undoubtedly there are other promising pockets in the region. However, from my Afriapps perspective, Ghana has definitely got me impressed and excited about what's happening there. If you are aware of other remarkable regions worth shouting about, we'd love to hear about them and see how they compare to what's happening in Ghana.
Illustrations by Lulu Kitololo