Zimbabwean launches startup in Silicon Valley at NewMe Demo Day


One of the young that pitched at last year’s Startup Challenge (a startup competition for Zimbabwe that we ran last year with ZOL) is one called Yose. It’s a mobile telecoms service, that the judges at the challenge agreed was very innovative and had a great business model, but one whose chances of seeing the light of day in the current market circumstances (mobile operator relationships needed especially) were very limited.

So anyway, the Yose team leader a developer called Tendekai Muchenje (who was based in the US all this time) has been making some news with another new company that he founded called Helpr. We came to know  about Helpr when Muchenje made it into the finals of the selection of startups into an incubator program in Europe called Seedcamp. He didn’t stop there; this year, Muchenje made it into the NewMe Accelerator. Yes, the NewMe the world got to know when TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington made the supposedly racist “I don’t know a single black entrepreneur” comment on CNN last year.

Anyway, in February this year, Muchenje was accepted as part of the second cycle of NewMe startups into a  12 week program of intense mentoring where he lived in the same house with 7 other startups to focus on building his company. The startups there had opportunities to meet and be mentored by Silicon Valley notables like Vivek Wadhwa. The 12 weeks culminated in a demo day that was held last week at Google offices. You can read more about the NewMe demo day in this TechCrunch article.

Here’s one of the TechCrunch videos from the day where Muchenje is interviewed. His section starts at 7:00 minutes.

Muchenje is also involved with Seeds of Africa, a non-profit whose mission is to provide scholarships to students from poor families and to leverage technology in creating modern libraries in Zimbabwe.

  • http://twitter.com/mukwenhac Chiko Mukwenha

    Best of luck Muchenje!

  • Magneto

    Well done young man keep it up.. we need more of you!

  • http://twitter.com/clikcspeed Norman Nhliziyo

    Congrats… Keep it up

  • Sekuru

    Has anyone tried to use the site? 
    http://www.helpr.me/ . It does not seem to work? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richwell-Captain-Phinias/610331826 Richwell Captain Phinias

    Congrats, way to go Zimbos, inspiring. Just DoING It!

  • http://www.mixdem.com/ Munyuki Manatsa

     This is good news, I think he has got a clear shot of making it big, well done Muchenje!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nerudo-Mregi/100003622755124 Nerudo Mregi

    The brother has an awesome idea by a margin. Thumbs

  • black mwana

    no chance :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1318248 Tendekai Muchenje

    It goes live on May 23. Sorry for the inconvenience. 


  • http://twitter.com/cmutambo Clinton D. Mutambo

    Well done Tendekai! Although you didn’t make it through to the finals of the Zol Startup Challenge, your determination has taken you to the home of technology. It has been refreshing watching you build on the humble experience locally, proceeding to Seedcamp Europe & now Silicon Valley. Keep on flying the good flag, Zim needs more guys like you.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DEMB6QUSPJ7VPSDMA37XI3AEEU Loveness

    “I like the guys here.. and the girls too. I meant everyone”

  • dhehwa

    lovely stuff, keep it up

  • Alice

    Congrats and good job Tendi!

  • ymombez

    Nice stuff cuz. Proud of you!!!

  • Thabo

    Marist boys :) 

  • Widzo20

    Amazing bro

  • Nancy M

    Awesome Tendi!! This article is funny … “so anyway…” Keep up the good work