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Jumpstarters, here are some tips for the eTXT Apps Challenge from the guy that won the Kenyan edition of the challenge

May 17, 2012 in Challenges

Tokelezea team, Winners of the Kenya Challenge (Credit ForgetMeNot Africa)

It’s just 8 days before the submission deadline of the ZeTXT Apps Challenge and if you haven’t submitted your app yet, you need to get busy. As you may already know, the finals of the Kenyan edition of the challenge were held at a Hackathon at iHub a little more than a week ago. The winning team there, called Tokelezea, developed an SMS event check in and management application. FMNA posted on their site some tips by the Tokelezea developer, Nick Hargreaves, to help developers in the Zim edition of the challenge to prepare (to win).

We re-post here just in case you missed that article, and have been too lazy to participate in the Facebook discussions.

Be simple and intuitive
The app should be easy to understand and users should be able to quickly navigate and use it’s features without having to go through a manual first

Be Social
If there’s a way to add a social dimension in the app then you should try and utilize it. People always want to share what they’re up to and the content they are consuming. In the current tech scene, it’s difficult to sell applications that are not social. The way Tokelezea achieved this was to allow users to post comments and view comments and attendees.

Have a Large Target Market
The app should be useful to a large target market.

Be Practical
Think about the culture of the people you are building the app for. Think about how they usually do things and if the app would actually make sense to them.

Most importantly, take the feedback from the FMNA team seriously.
They know the Industry; they know what works and what doesn’t.

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!

Presentation: What does it take to cultivate a startup?

March 29, 2012 in Startups

Here’s a presentation titled “What does it take to cultivate a startup?” made by ForgetMeNot Africa Founder and Director of Technology at the launch of the eTXT Apps Challenge in Harare at a JumpStart event this week.

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.

Jumpstart events for the ForgetMeNot Africa eTXT Apps Challenge

March 19, 2012 in Challenges, event, Startups

ForgetMeNot Africa Apps Challenge

You’ve probably already noticed that the March event is the launch of the ForgetMeNot Africa eTXT Apps Challenge. We normally have our events mid-month, but we have pushed this month’s event to the 27th (Next week Tuesday).  For the developers and creatives among you, the exciting news this month is that, not only are we having the launch of the eTXT Apps Challenge but we’re also going to have two developer workshops the next day (28 March).

The workshops are designed to help participants in challenge better understand the technicalities of developing an app for the platform. The sessions will be facilitated by ForgetMeNot Software founder and Director of Technology, John Caroll. Some of you may know him from his blog on ZDNet.

It’s great enough participating in a challenge that offers an opportunity to create apps for a successful platform like eTXT. Now getting free training to do so is not something you want to miss. In short we hope you can make it to this one. As you may know, a similar apps challenge is currently underway in Kenya where ForgetMeNot Africa has partnered iHub and Safaricom.

Here’s the ForgetMeNot Africa page with full information about the challenge.

Please make a booking for the two events. Booking (as opposed to just showing up) helps us plan for the correct attendee numbers.

Here are more dates to keep in mind for the challenge:

4 May – Ideas Deadline

The deadline to submit your ideas and code online to be considered for the TestDrive is Friday the 20th of April. After this date ideas can still be submitted but you will not be eligible for the prizes. Any apps submitted after the deadline may still be launched earning revenue for developers on an on-going basis.

4th May – 11th May 2012 - Initial Ideas Feedback

Feedback on submitted initial ideas will be given by ForgetMeNot mentors before 4th May 2012.

25th May 2012 - Shortlist Deadline

The deadline of developers to submit an application to be considered for the Test Drive Final shortlist will be the 25th May 2012.

1st June 2012 - Shortlist announced for Test Drive final

The selected developers for the Test Drive Final will be announced on the 1st June 2012.

16th June 2012, Harare Club - Test Drive Final

The Apps Challenge Test Drive Final will be held Harare over the weekend beginning 16th June 2012 where winning teams and individuals can work and polish their ideas with mentors from ForgetMeNot Africa. Each team will present their final idea, business case and code to the judging panel and the winner will be announced. There can only be one main winner, however all other approved apps can be published meaning that the taking part really could be just as good as winning!