This guest article originally appeared on the Matamba Anonaka Technology Holdings blog. The article was written by Geoffrey Goss, one of the judges at the Start-Up Challenge. Geoff is the CEO of MATHs, a Zim tech focused venture capital firm. You can read more about him on MATHs team page.
I thought it important to share with you my recent experiences as a judge at the inaugural Zimbabwe Tech Start-Up Challenge.
First of all go take a look at “3 more finalists selected for the Start-Up Challenge” which will give you a good idea of what happened. Part one is on this link!
The long and the short of it is that the innovation and skills that were on show far exceeded my expectations, which were admittedly pretty low, but nevertheless……
Sure there was a lot of focus on applications that flaunted the individual talent, and little in the way of well thought out business plans, but if you had asked me a month ago I would have told you these people no longer existed in Zimbabwe.
How wrong can you be?
Interestingly, many of the talented people on show were in the process of or had already returned from the great “overseas”, but in so doing they have brought new skill sets, ideas, and in some cases money which they are now investing wholeheartedly back home.
You will have heard me encouraging this movement some time ago, and it is rewarding to see the first of the swallows returning from their winter break! It is more of a trickle than a wave of course, but to continue the analogy for a moment, it only takes one small crack in the dyke to make way for the flood!
So…. we won’t hold our breath just yet, but I am watching the signs closely and I’ll keep you posted.
By the way, the finals of the Start-Up Challenge are in early September, 5 finalists pitching for a cash and services prize, and potentially much greater investment in their business ideas…. Keep an eye on Techzim for all the info!