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Thank you to our sponsors & partners for the BarCamp & Jumpstart Challenge

September 28, 2012 in Startups

This year, again, BarCamp Zimbabwe and the ZOL Jumpstart Challenge were a success. A big success. While BarCamp was held at the same venue as last year, we decided to take it outside and what a refreshing atmosphere full of networking, learning, mobile talk, gadget talk, discussions about mPayments, cloud computing, social media and everything that we expected a BarCamp to be.

The startup challenge pitches were also nothing short of amazing. Everyone, the judges included, attested the significant improvement in pitch quality and in the thought out business models. We all went away inspired about the capacity of the local entrepreneurs, creative & developers to create and build solutions to address solution gaps in the market.

But for all this to take place, sponsors, partners and speakers supported the initiative in different ways.

So, we are grateful to them, and this post is to just say thank you. Here are the sponsors and links to their websites so you can check out the products/services they offer.

Zimbabwe Online (ZOL)

These guys were the title sponsors. That means they bankrolled the challenge and some of the BarCamp. ZOL is one of the largest ISPs in Zimbabwe.



Econet Wireless Zimbabwe

Econet was the gold sponsor. Econet is the largest telecommunications firm in Zimbabwe.



Media Matrix

Media Matrix are video & audio production people. They filmed BarCamp and the challenge.


Digitech Brand Communications

The guys, no, these ninjas; they do branding, marketing and design. They provided a gigantic outdoor LCD screen for the BarCamp. If you weren’t there, you can check out it in the pictures on our Facebook page.



We’re not sure what these guys do actually, but they demanded a mention so hell, why not.


C2 Media

C2 are a creative digital agency. Social media is one area that lacked in 2011. This year was very different; we trended on twitter (in Harare), thanks to these guys.



A big thanks also goes to the speakers that availed themselves to discuss the important topics they spoke on; Adam Roscoe from ZimSwitch, Collin Franco from Utande, and Larry Kwirirayi of 3-mob.

By the way, you can read about how the two days of tech fun and education went here and you can check out the startup that won the challenge here.


Details of the eTXT App framework

March 31, 2012 in Challenges, event, Startups

As you may know, on Tuesday this week was the launch of the ForgetMeNot Africa eTXT Apps Challenge at an event in Harare. The following day, the FMNA team spent the day working with developers explaining the framework and helping formulate ideas and plans for the challenge.

For those of you that didn’t attend this event, the presentation below explains the App Framework and gives a guideline on developing your App. You should of course check the developer section of the FMNA website for more. The best!

eTXT Apps Challenge launch: FMNA founder presents on building successful startups

March 29, 2012 in Challenges, event, Startups

John Carroll (FMNA Founder and Director of Technology) speaks to developers and entrepreneurs at the eTXT Apps Challenge launch.

Last night, ForgetMeNot Africa launched the eTXT Apps Challenge in Harare at a JumpStart event attended by developers, tech entreprenuers  and journalists. While the highlight of the night was the launch of the challenge itself (read more about the challenge here) , we found the presentation by ForgetMeNot Software Founder and Director of Technology, John Carroll, quite inspiring.

Carroll’s presentation , titled “What does it take to cultivate a startup” talked about the issues that Startups need to think about and do to build successful tech companies. We’re hoping to upload (or link to) the full presentation once we get hold of it, so please check back. Here is the link.

A question that came from the audience (and there were some interesting ones) was why ForgetMeNot was launching the Apps competition in Zimbabwe and not other African countries. The FMNA team explained that their main investor, LonZim (now Cambria) invests mainly in Zimbabwe and that they see a lot of potential for some great apps from the developers in the counrty. As you may know, the Apps Challenge was first launched in Kenya where FMNA is working with iHub and Safaricom.

Other questions Carroll responded to were on avoiding common pitafalls in founding startups especially the process of finding co-founders and the much talked about going big bang or lean startup route. The FMNA founder explained that from his experience that the relationship between co-founders is like a marriage, where entreprenuers need to choose carefully, recognising their personal limitations and considering the different skills and roles co-founders will come in to play. Carroll also emphasised that on rasising funding entreprenuers can build their companies faster and succeed if they use other people’s money (investors and, in the initial stages friends and family) instead of trying to boostrap slowly.

On lean startups, Carroll explained that going lean and iterating on a product that’s already been launched is more effective especially in situations where the resources to build a big ‘full’ product (for the big band launch) may not be available. Startups in African and globally, because of resource limitations, are already building lean startups even though it may not be referred to as such, he explained.

Today (28 March) ForgetMeNot Africa is holding two workshops for developers, one in the morning at 8AM, and the other in the afternoon at 1300hrs. The venue is still the Harare Club. The FMNA tech team will also be available the whole day to help developers understand the eTXT API and how to develop for the platform.

Here are a few more photos we took at yesterday’s event. The rest are on the JumpStart Facebook Page.